I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24 NLT
Yesterday, when I showed up at Tampa Adventist Academy to teach my baptism class, a teacher, beaming with pride, showed me an e-mail one of her former students had just sent her the night before. In the e-mail, the student was telling her former teacher about her new school and scholastic programs. The student was doing well at her new school. The student then thanked the teacher at Tampa Adventist Academy for “never giving up one me” and “always pushing me to do my best.” This made the teacher’s day! Kind encouraging words are honey to the soul. Is there a teacher you need to write a nice thank you letter to?
Earlier this school year, I was on the playground following up with one of the teachers about one of her students who wanted to attend my baptism class. While the teacher and I were talking, on the far side of the playground I saw a glimpse of a little girl running with a football, being chased by by some boys. I yelled her name and shouted, “Run! Run!”
The next morning the little girl’s mother came up to me, and told me, “My daughter told me yesterday, “Mama I was playing football with the boys and they were about to catch me, when I heard pastor William yell my name. That gave me a burst of energy and I made the touchdown!”
Who knew what a kind encouraging word could do? Is there a child you need to speak a kind encouraging word to today?
I am writing tonight near the beautiful campus of Southern Adventist University
Have you ever heard somebody that you thought really had a gift for words? You know I don’t remember every gift everyone has ever given me, but I always remember how people’s words made me feel.
I remember working at the Campus Kitchen, a fast food restaurant, on the campus of Southern Adventist University back in the 1980’s. I was delivering people’s food to their tables. One day we were swamped and I was running way behind. People were complaining and rightfully so. However, when I finally got a lady in her 30’s or 40s her lunch, I apologized for her wait. She told me she could tell we were busy and that I was working very hard, running all over the place, as best I could. She did something nobody had ever done at the CK before or since. Tipping was not customary at the CK, but instead of complaining, she gave me a $5.00 tip, which at that time would have been about a 100% tip! She told me she wished she had more to give me. She told me she knew it was hard working your way through college and that I was doing a great job. You know, thirty years later, the $5.00 is long gone and has been for quite a while. But what is lodged into my mind forever are her kind words. Her kind words encouraged me long after Abe was gone. Let’s take a look at how Jesus used words as a gift even in His growing up years.
He passed by no human being as worthless, but sought to apply the saving remedy to every soul. In whatever company He found Himself, He presented a lesson that was appropriate to the time and the circumstances. He sought to inspire with hope the most rough and unpromising, setting before them the assurance that they might become blameless and harmless, attaining such a character as would make them manifest as the children of God. Often He met those who had drifted under Satan’s control, and who had no power to break from his snare. To such a one, discouraged, sick, tempted, and fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity, words that were needed and could be understood. Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls. These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side, and would give them the victory. Those whom He thus helped were convinced that here was One in whom they could trust with perfect confidence. He would not betray the secrets they poured into His sympathizing ear. -Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Pages 91-92
Let’s remember during this season of family get togethers, and always, that words will be remembered long after the things we gave as gifts are gone.