Words That Wound
"Her rival provoked her greatly to vex her."
I Samuel 1: 6
"Eli said, ‘How long will you be intoxicated.'"
I Samuel 1: 14
Words That Encourage
"Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition."
I Samuel 1: 17, Amplified Bible
The Energy of Encouragement
"Encouragement is oxygen to the soul."
George M. Adams
How does it make me feel to know I am appreciated?
Is there someone in my life who could benefit from my words of encouragement?
"Encouragement costs you nothing to give, but it is priceless to receive."
"One word or a pleasing smile is often enough to raise up a saddened and wounded soul."
Therese of Lisieux
Not long ago I read a quote which really set me to thinking. These are the words spoken by Sidney Madwed: "The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond our wildest dreams. We would have more than one Einstein, Edison, Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, Dr. Salk and other great minds in a century."
When I read this passage, I asked myself, "How often has encouragement been on the list of gifts I plan on giving to those in my life whom I cherish.
The word "encourage" is specifically defined as the ability one has to give courage, hope, or confidence to another - to be able to embolden and hearten another.
How sad it is that a gift which costs absolutely nothing is given so infrequently, especially when you consider the impact encouragement has on the lives of those we touch.
To more adequately portray what happens when "encouragement" becomes an integral part of our interaction with others, I shared several of the texts from the life of Hannah that convey the power encouragement has to change a human environment.
Hannah lived, surrounded by the constant vexation of critical words, not only in her home, but even at church. The result, we are told in extremely descriptive language, was that Hannah was downcast, grief-stricken and anorexic. She was so deeply affected she was starving herself. But then, with words of encouragement heaped upon her by Eli, what a transformation took place. Hannah became radiant. She got her appetite back. But what's more, she began to live her life under a heavenly canopy of God's purpose not only for her own future, but that of the child she would conceive. This Biblical example makes me wonder how much more purpose-filled living we could inspire if, in our own lives, we begin to freely share the gift of encouragement with others.
I really started to understand the power of encouragement when Transformation Garden began. It's been individuals like yourselves, who have emailed me a "thank you" for the devotionals, that has helped me comprehend better the energizing power of encouragement. When I receive a note that says, "This was just what I needed today," those simple and kind words empower me to study longer and work harder to make certain what is being written will reflect the same blessed encouragement that you have showered into my life. It's like a stream that flows through a canyon, watering everything in its path.
As God's daughters and sons, we have a powerful opportunity to pass on heaven's energy with words and acts that uplift and encourage. As Hebe Welbourne wrote: "On a common path, sharing companionship and generating a new presence."
In a world so devoid of words that inspire and bless and encourage - may you and I choose to give the gift that emboldens and infuses the lives of others every day.
"Prayer of Encouragement"
"The hands of the Father uphold you,
The hands of the Saviour enfold you,
The hands of the Spirit surround you,
And the blessing of God
Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Uphold you evermore."
"A Message of Encouraging Love"
"O God, we are one with You.
You have made us one with You.
You have taught us that if we are open
to one another, You dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness
with all our hearts.
Help us to realize that there can be
no understanding where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting (and encouraging)
one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely,
we accept You…
Fill us then with love, and let
us be bound together with love…
Love has overcome.
Love is victorious."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at discount for your Women's Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please call: 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.