Fountain of Life
Today's reading: Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 15:30
We're going to spend one more week in Proverbs, this week looking at and considering some of my favorite verses on our words and how we choose to use them. I selected three verses today that highlight the importance of speaking words of affirmation and encouragement to others--words that are pleasant, good and meant to build up. Our positive and constructive words have the power to change the downward course of someone's day, or perhaps even their life.
Last year, I was at a conference where several young men from a juvenile prison spoke briefly as part of a presentation. One boy's words moved me to tears. He was afraid, embarrassed and could barely look at the audience. He told us he had not been a nice person, and that his negative outlook and attitude had continued with incarceration. He then explained that he had been selected for a program involving disabled children. He told us that he saw a boy struggling to complete a task and decided to help him. The next day, the student's teacher told this young man that she had observed him helping this special needs child and thanked him. She called him by name and said "You are really a kind person." Now, that may not sound like much to you or me, but to this emotionally wounded young man, those few words of affirmation were a fountain of life.
Looking at the floor, he told us that this was the first time he realized he didn't have to be bad. It was the first time he realized that he actually was a kind person. As a result, he made the decision, right then and there, to change and stop hurting people. WOW!! A few intentional affirming words touched this boy's heart and altered his life forever!
"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life..." (Prov. 10:11)
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad" (Prov. 12:25).
"The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones" (Prov.15:30).
When someone offers you positive and encouraging words, what impact does it have on your attitude, actions, thoughts and words? Who will you speak affirming words to today? Will you be intentional about being a "fountain of life" to someone in need? Tami
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