August 25

Have you ever had a friend or co-worker who is so encouraging with their words that you cannot wait to get near them? I’m not talking about someone  who flatters with every word, and means none of the things they say. I am talking about people who are genuinely encouraging, and who say words that help, and that build character as a result. I have known a few people in my lifetime like this, and I can honestly tell you, that I cannot wait to get around them!

Today we place great value on silver and gold in our world. I hear advertisements all the time about buying gold and silver to protect yourself from a downturn in the market. I would buy some, but I have found it to be very expensive (smile). Today I was reading by chapter in Proverbs for the day, and I came across a verse I read every month, and kind of fly right past it. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

A word of encouragement to me, is more valuable that gold and silver. There have been a few times in my life that I was given a gift of money that surprised me. I remember graduating from high school, and receiving money gifts from many of my family members. Of course, my mind ran to all the things I wanted to buy with that money! And then I looked at my mother … I knew that I wasn’t going to get to buy one thing that I “wanted,” but that I would be forced to buy things that I “needed.” Rats!

What I am trying to say is that riches fade far quicker than they come. I can work a lifetime to amass a large sum of money in my retirement fund, only to find that it can take a very short time to use it all up. However, in this verse, the writer reminded me that my words can be like gold and silver if I will use them in the right way. When I was a young boy, dreaming about becoming a preacher, my grandmother said, “You’re going to be a great preacher!” Those words still linger in my heart and mind. They are like apples of gold, and pictures of silver to me.

Monetary things have come and gone in my life. Words of encouragement have “stuck and stayed.” It’s funny, but words of discouragement also linger (far longer than I wish they would). Today I want to remind myself (and you) to remember that the words we use today could be remembered for a very long time. Tell someone today that you believe in them. They will never forget it. My grandmother spoke those words to me over fifty-one years ago, and they are still ringing in my heart today. Encourage someone!