Deb’s Journey…

February 9, 2012

Courage and Kindness - The Power of a Woman’s Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:32 pm

Thoughts are swirling.  News came yesterday about friends…a frightening diagnosis.

I wish to give our friends courage…I’m praying against fear in their lives.  Dear ones, “Be Strong and of Good Courage, for The LORD, Thy God is With You!”

I also long to encourage those around them…”Be Kind and Tender” toward these dear ones who are suffering!  Not until trouble, heartache and sorrow came into my own life could I more fully comprehend the words of Ian McLaren:

“Let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle”.

In the Rabbit Room last week Ron Block in a post called “What is Love?  Part 1 - definitions said,

“I am a partaker of the divine nature.  As such, I am energized and empowered at my core to forgive, to be for others, no matter what the cost.  To plug into that Power by faith brings life and peace through us to others.  To fail to do so is to deal death to others”.

This convicted me and made me want to be more diligent in loving others.  I know I can so easily say or do the wrong thing or leave the right thing undone though I pray not to.  I truly want to bring life and healing.  To be for others bringing them life and peace instead of bringing them death - God forbid!

Tuesday night our women’s small group began a new study through a book called “A Way With Words” by Christin Ditchfield.  Our discussion that night was about the power of words and words that wound.  Next time we’ll discuss words that heal.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” - Proverbs 12:18

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless” - Mother Teresa

“Unkind words are like weapons of destruction.  In a sense kind words are like weapons too but they don’t skewer people.  Instead they combat evil, cut through fear  and doubt, delusion, discouragement and despair.  We use these words/weapons to fight off the enemy and counteract the damage he would do to those we love.  Here are some of the best weapons we have in our arsenal:”

I created this chart to help me better understand - Dear Lord, now help me apply it!

Words that bring  healing and life.

Words that bring destruction and death.

Earnest Compliments and Heartfelt Appreciation

-  Tell them how much you love, value and appreciate them.  List their contributions to your life and the lives of others.  List their strengths, accomplishments, successes, unique gifts and talents.

Criticism.

- I’ve heard it said that some people find fault like there’s a reward for it, there’s not - stop digging.

Exhortation and Encouragement

-  Tell them you believe in them and that you have the greatest expectations for what God will accomplish in them and through them.  Your faith in them will motivate and inspire, propelling them onward and upward, calling them to what they were meant to be.  Challenge them to “Dream Big & Work Hard”.  When they are weary be the voice that says “Don’t give up, you can do it!  I know you can!  God is with you - He will help you and so will I.”

Casting up the Past

-   To cast means “throwing, hurling or flinging”.  When you remind them of past failures you tell them you don’t believe they will ever change.  Our enemy, Satan does this as he seeks to destroy us.  Do we really want to be his helpers?

Compassion and Understanding

-  Let them know they are not alone.   Our paths are different and yet we too have known loneliness, have felt rejected, betrayed and abandoned, we’ve made our share of mistakes.  We’ve known disappointment and fear and we know how it feels to fall or fail.  We all fall in many ways - that’s the easy part.  By God’s grace we can get back up again.

Dismissing their feelings

-   Telling them to cheer up or not to feel as they do makes them feel very alone and is more about your comfort than theirs.

Listening Ears

-  Sometimes there are just no words.  Comfort them with your presence and your love.  Let God use your arms to hold them and extend His grace to them through your listening ears.  If you’re confused about what they need, ask. “How can I best help?  Are you looking for suggestions, or do you need a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on?  Whatever you need, it’s yours.”   They may not know.  In that case, let your words be few.

Unsolicited advice

-  No matter how well intentioned, if they didn’t ask, don’t tell them.  “You know what you should do…”  It’s not helpful and is very often hurtful.

Lighthearted Humor

-   Positive, uplifting humor relieves stress & tension and helps us unwind.  Share a joke with them.  A little silliness goes a long way to lessen the symptoms of physical, emotional and psychological pain.  Share your favorite funny movies, stories, books or comedians with them.

Dark  “Humor” that gets out of hand

-  Being a smarty-pants full of snarky asides can be brutal.  As Benedick complained when he’d had enough of Lady Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, “She speaks poniards (daggers) and every word stabs.”

The Wisdom of Your Story

- How has God shown up in your darkest hours?  What hope or reassurances have you received that keep you from despair?  Tell your story.  James 3:17 says, wisdom from above is pure, peace-loving, gentle at all times, willing to yield to others, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Gossip

-  If it’s not your story, it’s gossip - don’t tell it.  Sharing other people’s tragedies with those who face their own is like setting an anvil on their chest.

IF you’ve  earned the right - Humbly Speak Truth

-  Do you know them intimately?  Have you established trust with them?  Then with kindness, humility and compassion speak truth to them.  Take no joy in this.  If you feel even a hint of self-righteous satisfaction at putting them in their place or if you feel anger rise in you - back way off immediately.

Unloving Truth

- Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s kind, loving, helpful, timely or even appropriate for you to share with them.  This includes bludgeoning others with Scripture in a misguided attempt to set them straight.  “Do not be wise in your own eyes”.

Pray for them or better yet, pray with them.

-  Wherever two or more are gathered, Jesus is present.  Invite Him to join your conversation.  Share the load with Him and ask Him to carry it.   If you have means, be practical and generous also.  Meals, gift cards, etc.

Dismissing them

-  “Suppose one of you says to them, “Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well.” And you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done?” - James 2:16

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