Do you ever have days where you just feel discouraged? Today is one of those days, so bear with me. Despite physical therapy and medication, my knee and elbows are still painful and swollen from the arthritis some days, and increasingly so this past week. I’ve been fighting some kind of cold every couple of weeks, which makes it hard to have the energy to get much else done besides work and keeping up with household stuff. I’ll make a little progress with PT, and then it feels like I take two steps backwards. Praying for energy and to stay healthy even though I’m around so many germs at work. Praying for wisdom as well, because Bo and I are beginning to think that working on a med surg floor may not be the best thing for me physically long-term.
Despite all of that, there have been some exciting things happening. I have to remember that even with the physical stuff going on, there’s a bigger picture and God is so, so good. I’m preaching to the choir here… It’s easy to lose focus on God’s goodness when we are dealing with aches and pain. Thankfully, we’ve started up with a young women’s Bible study again after being on break since Christmas. We’re doing Christine Caine’s “Unashamed” study (reading the book and doing a weekly DVD session in one another’s homes). It’s such an encouragement and reminder of God’s faithfulness to be around a small group of women my own age. To hear everyone’s struggles, victories, prayer requests, and words of encouragement to each other is just such a priceless gift.
That brings me to something that has been on my heart to share: the power our words have to build up or tear down. Here are five verses that I’ve copied into my journal on what the Bible says about our words:
- Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
- Ephesians 4:29 “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
- James 1:26 “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
- Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage one another and build one another up.”
This reminder is for everyone reading and myself as well: is there anyone around you who is discouraged? Anyone who needs a reminder that they are loved? That they matter? Anyone at all who is struggling? It’s our job as followers of Christ to build one another up. If we allow God to be in control of our words, there is such incredible POWER to overturn what the devil is doing to discourage and beat down those around us. Like Proverbs says, our words are “sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”of the person we are speaking to. That’s amazing! I’ve found that when I’m feeling down and discouraged, the best antidote for that is to do my best to be an encouragement to others. So that’s going to be my goal today, and I hope that this is food for thought for those reading!