An encouraging word can make all the difference in a person’s life. People are thirsty for words of encouragement, and, as water in a dry parched land, so is a word of encouragement to those bowed down with the cares of this world. A smile and friendly word can drive back the clouds of depression. There are those who wander aimlessly around busy city centres, simply because they’re lonely and need to connect with people who can offer them a kind and friendly word.
I was listening to a testimony recently of a young man who, as a child, had never been encouraged, and who felt excluded from others in his peer group. One day, a church leader simply said “Hello, it’s good to see you again”, and continued to greet him with kind and encouraging words whenever he came. It was years later that the man revealed to the pastor that he came time and again just to hear those words, for they ministered hope to his young life. Today he is living for Jesus, and enjoying walking in the purposes of God.
Jesus, the source of life itself, made time to go and sit with the lonely woman at the well. His timing is perfect – He knew she would be there. It has often been said that she would probably have been drawing water in the heat of the day, because she knew she was despised, not only as a Samaritan woman, but also because of her lifestyle. But Jesus didn’t despise her. He didn’t just make time for the crowds, He made time for the individual.
You can hear the shock and surprise in her voice when He asked her for a drink. “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” she asked with incredulity. Jesus’ searching reply would have plumbed the depths of her dry and thirsty soul. ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water’. His words were healing as the conversation continued and He addressed the source of her need. That day, she had not only come to a natural well to meet her physical needs, she had encountered and was discoursing with the wellspring of life, and from this time onwards her life would never be the same.
When clothed with the breath of God, our words can be healing, helping others to rise above the hurts and injustices of life. It’s easy to be negative, but encouragement can help someone to step up into their destiny.
Today’s verse reveals the power of words and their strength. Which of these powers are we releasing into the lives of others (and consequently ourselves)? Let’s not withhold our blessing, but let’s help others to walk like the princes and princesses in Christ that they are.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I repent of all the times in my life when I’ve been quick to be negative about others and about myself. Forgive me, and help me instead to practise speaking and dispensing words of blessing, agreeing with Your Word of Life, encouraging others into their God-given destiny. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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