This is a lesson I’ve been learning lately – listening to the Lord’s nudges to speak up and speak life. Now. If I have kind, life-giving words for someone, I shouldn’t hold them in reserve for a time when I feel more confident or more comfortable or up to putting forth the effort. I’m learning how to speak now, how to speak up when the heart-words are new and fresh.
Speak now because encouragement does have an expiration date, on the giving side at least. We may have good words to give, but then we get distracted and forget what we were going to say. Or we turn inward and walk selfish for a bit, not thinking about those lovely traits or talents that we saw so clearly in that person just hours before.
Speak now because every heart could use a gift of raw acknowledgement, a portion of honest kindness.
Speak now because words matter, and let’s use them for building others up instead of building nervous walls of control and self-interest.
Speak now because words of encouragement are not easily forgotten. Like the box full of encouraging notes I keep treasured under the bed, inwardly I’ve unconsciously kept unforgettable, life-giving words stored away in my heart’s deep pockets.
Speak now. Be brave. Be bold in this deceptively small way.
Tell your friend how wise and generous she is. Tell your husband about how he makes you unreasonably, unbelievably happy. Tell your mentor how invaluable they are to you. Tell your coworker that you really appreciate their ideas and thoughtfulness.
Tell them face-to-face if possible. If not, write a letter, leave a kind voicemail, send an email and type out words with heart and truth – however you choose to tell them, don’t hoard your words.
When it comes to from-the-heart encouragement, have loose lips. Speak words of life. I believe they will not be soon forgotten.