Have you ever taken one of those Spritual gift tests? I have, several times. Every time, my number one gift is encouragement. For a long time I was not happy with that gift. If I had to choose my gift, it would have been something much bigger like a worship leader or a preacher. I even asked the Lord about it and said "what am I supposed to do with that?" But, the Lord showed me how important the gift of encouragement is. Recently, I was walking through the mall feeling a little down and discouraged and a women walked by me and smiled. That was it, she didn't say anything to me, she just smiled. But something about that smile cheered me up and I felt better.
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart. Proverbs 15:29
I remember being an awkward teenager, feeling insecure about everything about myself. One day I was riding on a bus with what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders and a women sitting next to me smiled and said "You have such beautiful eyes". Instantly my spirit was lifted and I felt like a new person.
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25
By the same token, I have been cut to the bone by words that others have spoken to me either in anger or just because they were mean spirited or so unhappy with themselves that they wanted to wound anyone who came in contact with them.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
Whether we know it or not, our words are powerful. We may think that our words don't affect anyone, but they do! They affect everyone that we speak to, everyone! Our words have the power to help and heal or the power to hurt and destroy.
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. Ephesians 4:29
Some Christians use their words as swords, piercing the souls of everyone they come into contact with. But the Apostle Paul wrote:
Do you see a man who speaks in haste, there is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 29:20
Some Christians use gentle words to build others up and encourage them.
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers. Proverbs 15:28
How about you, are your words and actions encouraging, edifying, and soothing to the soul or are they destructive, cutting and vengeful?
The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
We encourage you to use your words to encourage others.