In the midst of trying to think of a way to open our discussion about why encouraging words matter, and about the necessity – and urgency – of speaking them, the unthinkable happened. We unexpectedly lost our beloved friend, LGG translator, leader, and role model Edurne.
- Edurne was an encourager in person. Conversations with her were “bucket fillers,” and I always left feeling more hopeful and more content.
- She was an encourager from afar. Edurne lived in a remote village in Venezuela. She had daily hardships and an inconsistent internet connection, but that never stopped her from sending encouraging notes and reminders that she was diligently praying.
- Even in her death, her encouraging words live on and are, in fact, part of her legacy.
Her words mattered. And matter still.
Friends, the world is hard. At best, it feels unpredictable. Too often, it feels crushing and dire. And in a world where there are so many “voices” and so much noise – social media, TV, Twitter – it’s all the more important that our real voices be heard. We are so connected but so many people feel worthless and alone.
Let us not be complicit in the world’s noisy, secular chaos by our silence. Your words matter.
Well, then, what do we say? It doesn’t have to be polished or prophetic, but realize that your words can build or destroy. The Bible has much to say about the importance of being an encourager:
- “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24
Tell people the good you see in them. Nurture the spirits of your children. Point out endearing qualities of your spouse. Seek out the people who are too often overlooked to offer an encouraging word. Be genuine and be intentional.
- Encourage fellow believers to fight the good fight until Christ returns.
- Encourage non-believers so that they’ll marvel at (and seek out) your unshakeable hope and joy.
Discouragement is Satan’s tool, and Scripture warns us about being “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). Satan creates a discouraging cycle that breads discontentment and creates disillusionment.
But, friends, we have the ultimate encouragement in Jesus.
Be the light. Be the one who speaks truth. Be the voice that shows mercy. Be the song of hope.
Your words matter.