Speak With Gracious Words

“The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” – Proverbs 16:21 Today, I’d like to encourage you to speak with gracious words! As we focus on the above verse from Proverbs 16:21, it explains that the wise in heart are called discerning and their use of gracious, forgiving, and beautiful words allow grace to “promote instruction.” Next, it reads, “Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.” Almost always, the fool in Proverbs reflects someone in their foolish words. But in contrast, “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent and their lips promote instruction.” And I just love this last part: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”    As children, we internalize the words of our parents, parental figures, or the people who raise us. Therefore, it is important to

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Affirmation Feels Good

“If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” – Romans 12:7,8 Yesterday, we discussed the power of our words in a team environment. Take, for instance, my missionary trip to Thailand when I was in high school. I remember our 15-person group traveling on a very small, three-wheeled bus. The ride was uncomfortable, hot, humid, and smoky. In addition, one of our team members was super negative, complaining about the heat and smell. Momentarily, we all forgot the importance of our mission: To share the love of Christ. To remedy this, our director, who reminded me of comedian Will Ferrell both in looks and humor, handled the negativity brilliantly. After boarding our bus, he

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Words Have Power

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24 Words have power! This is something I think each of us inherently understands, but it’s easy to lose sight of it in the day-to-day. In our electronic world, we’re bombarded by messages from morning to night. Social media posts, memes, headlines, and texts feed our minds an abundance of words to process — many of them less than uplifting — and if we’re not careful, we end up parroting the negative things that we hear. However, since what we habitually say forges our future, it’s wise to wake up each morning and make a commitment to taming our tongues. Though we don’t want to become legalistic in such matters, as much as possible, we should use our words to speak life by way of Scriptural encouragement, affirmation, and gratitude. When we do this,

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Affirmation, Acceleration, and Transformation

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11 It’s interesting that we often talk about God as our loving Father, but we fail to mention that He’s also our counselor and coach. In other words, as much as He delights in having a relationship with us right where we are, He also refines us through difficulties and struggles so that we become stronger. When I was growing up, my Dad would encourage me to keep going when the going got tough. He taught me to swim and surf when I was afraid of the water, and he didn’t let me give up on baseball even though I hated it for three years. He also made sure I kept up with piano lessons and martial arts classes in

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