A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential. John C. Maxwell
Meditation: Encouragement can make all the difference in a person’s development. Whether we are children or adults, we need positive feedback and words that praise and build up, instead of criticize and only look for the negative. There is always something that is not as it could be or should be. However, often there are many small things full of potential or great first beginnings. If we look closely, there are wonderful small steps and courageous first attempts. If a parent, partner or leader sees those small beginnings and instead of criticizing what they are “not yet”, affirm what they “already” are and can be, the person growing feels seen, validated and protected from their own inner voice of doubt and criticism. We need to become aware of how our words can literally stop growth and kill others’ Spirit or can foster growth and bring forth life in those around us.
Prayer: Creator God, You are the Spirit that bends towards us and whispers “grow”. You voice is encouraging, admiring and affirming. Even when we only show small inklings of growth, You are getting excited. Your Spirit is the one that knows our potential and rejoices over each step we are taking in the direction of becoming fully who You intend us to be. God, take from us the Spirit of criticism, of contempt, jealousy and harshness and fill us with Your Spirit. Help us encourage wherever we can and always look for the “already” instead of stare at the “not yet”. Help us praise and celebrate the beginnings and whisper “grow” wherever we go. Amen
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8