Have you ever been around someone that found something positive and encouraging to say about every situation? Do you know a person that could find something refreshing about even the most draining experience? I have a friend that is able to do just that. When I’m with him I try to just listen. I try to learn to think the way he does, to see life as he does and speak like he does.
Listen on and don’t make a quick dismissal of what I say. He is laden with responsibility, deals with difficult people and faces challenges all day long. But somehow he finds the hidden sunshine on the most overcast days and, even more, he shares its beams with others.
He embodies what Scripture says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph. 4:29) Corrupting talk is made of words that tears down. We’re good at that sort of thinking and speaking. It comes naturally for most of us as it seems to roll out of our mouths before we’ve given it a second thought. But a second thought and second look is worthy of our attention. The second thought in the verse above says our talk should be good for building up. There is always something encouraging to be said even in the most difficult situation. Encouragement can always be found when it is sought. Building up takes work, but it is a noble task.
So, to my friend (you know who you are), thank you for your encouraging words. I am not only thankful for when they have been aimed at me, but I am thankful for all of the times that I have heard them aimed at others. And even more than being thankful for them, I have learned from them. They have caused me to do the work of thinking before I speak and looking for the beam of light behind the darkest cloud. They have indeed given me grace and called me to show grace. And now for you, reader, will you take the time to give thought to your words? We’re listening.