' Words of Encouragement'

Thursday Reflection

2nd July 2020

to boost us in our day to day lives

We all need words of encouragement,
not just to keep us going when we are feeling low,
but to boost us in our day to day lives.
The words of Isaiah tell us that the Lord will guide us in what to say,
who to say it to and when and how to say it.

'The Lord GOD has given me his words of wisdom,
 so that I know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.
 Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.' 50:4-5

'a word in season' to the person who is in need. As it says,

'He wakens us and opens our understanding to his will.'

Jesus made it very clear in Matthew's gospel
that the Holy Spirit is able to give us the right words to say as any given time.

19 'But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.
   At that time you will be given what to say,
20 for it will not be you speaking,
   but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.' 10:19-20

And in Isaiah 51:16 God says,

'I have put my words in your mouth.'

Chances are there is someone in our world today
who needs to be given a word of encouragement.
The key is being sensitive and available.
Sometimes we are so taken up in our own struggles that
we don't even give a thought to the fact that
there may be someone around us who needs encouragement...
a neighbour, friends, spouse or child.

I think children need encouragement every day.
I love the story of the little boy who said to his father,

'Daddy, let's play darts. I'll throw, and you say, 'Wonderful, well done!'

Children crave affirmation and encouragement.
I've come across too many adults in my teaching and prison chaplaincy careers who,
growing up, were only ever put down and told, 'You'll never be any good.'
'You're just a waste of space.'
It becomes a self-fulling prophesy.
Yet put into an environment of positivity and encouragement
they flourish and can do great things.

In these difficult times,
there is someone who we either have contact with now,
or will have contact with soon, who needs our encouragement.
Can each one of us be a Barnabas (the encourager)?
We are all God's messengers.

   "Christ has no body now but yours.
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
    Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world.
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
    Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours." ? Teresa of Avila

And ours are the mouths by which God can bring comfort,
hope and strength to others.