“I don’t always put my foot in my mouth, sometimes I put them both in.” Who hasn’t had one of these moments? Goodness. More times than not I should have shut my mouth and kept both feet on the floor.
But what about the times when I didn’t say something when a word was needed? You may find yourself speaking highly of a friend to someone else but fail to say it to that person. I do this all the time. I can go on and on about how much I appreciate what someone said or did yet never say a word to that person. Sometimes you just need to say it!
Do you remember the phrase, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? Maybe we should consider the opposite, “If you can say something nice, say it.” There is enough negativity in this world. There are plenty reasons to tear people down. There are abundant flaws in each of us to rant about. (How is this for an uplifting thought?) But there is also so much good, so much encouragement that can be passed along if we would take the time to say it.
Several years ago, there was a man from my home church who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and eventually went to be with the Lord. Before he died he spent time speaking and encouraging people to take advantage of every day. This verse was his launching point and one that has resonated with me ever since. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13) Let’s break this down.
Encourage one another daily. This indicates that we are inspiring the people we encounter every day. The “daily” part reminds us that this encouragement is frequent and consistent, a practice not solely reserved for Sunday mornings.
As long as it is called Today. TODAY, not tomorrow, not next week. We never know how long we have with people. We never know when a word, right now, in this moment, may be the saving grace they needed. Say it. Today.
So that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Do we even consider that one reason hearts are hardened is because they never receive an affirming word? Satan works tirelessly to beat us down, making us calloused, so that nothing can penetrate the thick outer shell. But we can start to chip away at this, making soft hearts by encouraging.
Sometimes we just need to shut our mouths. Probably more times than not. But sometimes, we just need to say it. We just need to pick up the phone and tell someone how much they mean to us. Send a card and thank someone for the work they do. There is enough negativity floating around. Let’s resolve to be one who will encourage, daily, as long as it is called Today.