I dreamed of being a sailor once. Just one problem. Seasickness!
It doesn't matter how blue the water, I turn green almost as soon as I leave the dock. Landlubber that I am, I still experience the powerful thrill of a full sail. It happens every time I get an encouraging word -- or give one.
You've experienced that refreshing breeze, haven't you? Someone affirms your gifts or your work or the effort you put forth . . . and it feels good!
Little gusts of affirmation fill our sails.
The words we speak and how we use them are important to God too! We get a sense of their significance as we read the letter to the Hebrews. These people were sitting in a lonely patch of ocean with no wind at their backs. No wonder the writer said,
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
If your ship has ever been "dead in the water," sweltering under the hot rays of criticism or floating aimlessly in a sea of depression, you know how good it feels when a fresh wind of encouragement begins to flutter your sails.
Amazingly, God says we have the ability to fill the canvas of those around us. In fact, we owe that to them. Mark Twain echos this truth when he said,
It's not that hard. Just a few simple words can get someone moving again:
- Hey, that was really good work!
- Thank you for ...
- You can do it!
- God is using you!
- God has gifted you!
- I believe in you!
- I am so proud of you!
- You're really good at . . .
People have their sails up. God wants to use you to supply the breeze.
Who will you encourage today?