I am very excited to be lending my stage to James Prescott today. He is one of my close friends, a strong encouragement to me, and a gifted communicator. He is giving away a revised copy of his book 5 Steps to Encouragement, along with a companion devotional. Today, he talks about how encouragement has shaped his life, and how it can shape ours too.
“But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” (Job 16 v5)
“Look for the good and praise it.” (Unknown)
Words are powerful. They shape us. They are the catalyst for us discovering our identity, but can also create deep scars which can last a lifetime. And I’ve experienced both.
At school I was constantly told by my peers how useless I was, how I was worth nothing, not good enough. And to this day I struggle with the voices in my head feeding my those messages.
On the other hand though, my Dad asked me from the age of 12 to help him write a monthly newsletter he wrote to about 500 people – because he said I was better at writing than he was, and wanted my help. And the confidence I had in my writing gift just grew and grew. Later on, a well respected writer told me he was my biggest fan, and asked me to guest post for him.
And it’s changed my life. I have so much confidence in my writing now, and it’s largely due to those positive words spoken over me. Words of encouragement. And encouragement at its best can transform the world.
Encouragement raises us up. It makes us more than we thought we could ever be. It gives resurrection-breath to our souls. It opens our eyes to the person we were created to be and shines a light on the path towards that person.
It is like water on a plant. Without it, we don’t grow. We don’t become the beautiful flower we were created to be, to be displayed for the world to see.
A positive word, said rightly, can transform us. And all of us can do with the a positive word. No matter how confident we are, no matter what we’ve achieved, the breath of encouragement still has the power to transform us.
Of course we should never be dependent on the encouragement of others. But at the same time, encouragement can be like water to our souls.
The encouragement of others can be how God opens our eyes to our divine identity. How God gently pushes us forward to more than we believed possible.
When we’ve failed or life doesn’t turn out as we’ve hoped, the right kind of encouragement can help us see our circumstances in the eyes of the divine. Can help us see it’s not about success, status or achievement.
And remind us we have innate, infinite value and worth beyond anything we will ever know or achieve.
Questions for Reflection
How have the words spoken over you had an impact on your life?
How do you think you can use your words as a force for good in the world?
To find out more about the power of words to shape us, how we can become better encouragers, and reflect more on encouragement, take a look at the two e-books, ‘5 Steps to Encouagement’ & ‘Reflections on Encouragement’ which you can get free here.