Our words are our most powerful weapon at our disposal – everyday. We’ve all been on the receiving end of words that cut us to our core – and benefited from words of encouragement too. There’s no comparison. The Bible has a lot to say about our words and the power of our tongue. I love Paul’s encouragement in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Build up with our words – or tear down. I’m convinced beyond complimenting people on their looks or their talents that there are at least 4 really good phrases that speak life into people:
“I’M SORRY.” – Those words have humility written all over them. After having done someone wrong, there’s no simpler more powerful way to build someone up and restore a relationship than with these words admitting fault.
“I FORGIVE YOU.” – Those words have Jesus written all over them! I’m not sure we’re ever more Christ-like than when we’re saying words of forgiveness to others – whether they deserve it or not, whether they receive it or not.
“I BELIEVE IN YOU.” – Those words speak something precious into someone’s future. They say you see more about what they could be in the future than what they have been in the past. They say you see God’s fingerprint in the hope of their tomorrow more than what everyone else says about them today.
“I LOVE YOU, NO MATTER WHAT.” – Those words, both pre and post comma, are crucial. Everyone needs to hear that they are loved, not just have to guess at it. But the “no matter what” is what’s really different about the phrase. We’re used to love being conditional upon our performance or value, but “no matter what” communicates the unconditional – it communicates the words of the heartbeat of Jesus.
We’d do well to pass any, if not all of these on, to family and friends as often as possible.