February 8, 2011
Just the Right Words
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Proverbs 25:11 (NIV)
Has someone ever spoken words that helped you see something valuable or unique about yourself that you had never seen before?
That's what happened between Jill and Leanne. They met when Jill was coaching a basketball team and Leanne's 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, was on her team. Years later, when she was in high school, Shelby got seriously injured and Jill reached out to her with encouragement, prayers and notes that spoke just the words Shelby needed to hear.
One day, Leanne sent a letter thanking Jill for the difference she was making in her daughter's life. She described the great qualities she saw in Jill and called her a "bright light" that shined in many lives, including theirs.
Leanne didn't know that months later Jill would go home to an empty apartment one night plagued with doubts, questioning her purpose in life. Battling clinical depression and living under the weight of feeling worthless, Jill contemplated suicide. That night as she pondered her fate, Jill opened her journal to write and a note fell out. As Jill opened the note, she read Leanne's words again.
God used Leanne's words to show Jill she did have a purpose and that life was worth living. Just the right words at just the right time.
When another woman speaks encouragement into our hearts, the course of our lives can be changed forever. And when we believe in someone else, God uses us to build confidence and security in a heart that may have otherwise been paralyzed by doubt and insecurity.
I'll never forget my friend Janet thanking me for words I'd penned from my heart to hers in a thank you card. To me it was only a thank you, but it was more to her. God touched her heart deeply through something I said. And in response, she encouraged me to write more than notes. Her prayers and confidence inspired this insecure young mom to eventually write a Bible study.
God used that tiny Bible study, written over 10 years ago, to uncover His plans and develop the future writer in me. He used a woman who believed in me more than I believed in myself to help me take the first step.
Just the right words at just the right time.
Perhaps you need to hear them today. If so, let God speak them over you through His promises:
· For you are a chosen [woman], you are a royal priest, a holy [daughter]. God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
· "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine….you are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you."
Isaiah 43:1, 4 (NIV)
· For [you] are God's masterpiece. He has created [you] anew in Christ Jesus, so [you] can do the good things he planned for [you] long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
· In all these things [you] are more than [a] conqueror through him who loved [you]. Romans 8:37 (NIV)
Just the right words at just the right time.
Let God's promises settle into those places in your heart that need for encouragement today. And then ask Jesus how you might share them. Perhaps there is someone in your life who needs them now more than ever.
Dear Lord, I need Your encouragement each day. Lead me to promises in Your Word that will strengthen me when I'm weary and build me up when I feel torn down. Help me see and believe what You see in me, and then share it with others. I pray You will give me just the right words at just the right time. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
God gave Jill just the right words at just the right time through Leanne, but that's just the beginning of their story. Renee is interviewing Jill and Leanne on her blog today and giving away a copy of their book "Letters from Leanne" along with a gift card and other fun stuff in a "Words of Encouragement" Gift Pack. Enter to win here!
Girlfriends' Road Trip (CD) by Renee Swope A message filled with encouragement and practical ideas for building Christ-like friendships
Letting God Fill the Empty Places in Your Heart Message on CD by Renee Swope
Connect with Renee on Facebook.
Make a list of five people in your life who could use your words of encouragement.
Take five minutes each day this week to encourage one of them:
· Write a note of encouragement via email or in a card.
· Leave a voicemail with a short prayer and let them hear you thanking God for something special about them.
· Post a comment on their Facebook page telling them how much you appreciate them and why.
Do I realize the power of my words to speak hope and encouragement into the lives of others, as well as into my own life?
How often to I fill my mind with God's words of encouragement so that I know His thoughts to share with others?
Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."
© 2011 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 08 February 2011.