True Positive: Day 21 – Encourage Others

FullSizeRender (3)

Are you an encourager or a discourager? The word “encourage” means to give strength to another person. The root word, “cor” is the Latin word for heart. When we use our words or actions to sincerely encourage others, we offer strength for their heart. Let’s be honest, this world is full of sadness and hurt, and most people are hungry for an uplifting word or a kind acknowledgement.

James M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan wrote, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.” It’s true! When we take the time to honestly and specifically build up another person, we ourselves are strengthened and uplifted. Yet, if we use our mouths to grumble and criticize, our personal joy is diminished. Let’s be builders, not destroyers!

Solomon said, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” How will you use your words today to make a positive difference in the life of another person?

5 Power Words That Can Impact a Life

Donna parla con lettere su sfondo bianco

Our words matter. They can encourage someone to push forward in life using his or her gifts and abilities, or they can tear down an individual, producing discouragement and bitterness. Last week we talked about the difference between constructive criticism and a critical spirit. As we continue our series on building connections with others, we will take a look this week at ways our words can have a positive impact and possibly change the trajectory of someone’s life.

Think about a time when a person’s words deeply mattered to you. Most of us can quickly remember the negative impact someone’s words had on us, but hopefully we can also recall a few powerfully positive words that helped us along life’s way. My dad, Garry Kinder, was a constant source of encouragement to me. His words pushed me to move forward and do my best. He helped me recognize that God gave me unique gifts and talents to be used in this world. His words energized me to persevere through tough times.

I want to offer you five words that can have a positive and powerful impact on the people around you. Use them sincerely and specifically – not artificially or as flattery. Although they are simple, they can be used to move mountains. Give these words as a gift to others, helping them reach their God-given potential.

See – I see your effort. I see your ability. I see how gifted you are.  I see what you are going through.

Believe – I believe you can do this. I believe God has equipped you. I believe you have the strength.

Able – I know you are able to persevere. You are able to accomplish it. God is able to help you.

Strong – You are stronger than you think. God is your strength. Here are the strengths I see in you.

Love –  I love the way you use your gifts. I love being around you. I love seeing God work in your life.

Of course the most powerful phrase in the human language is, “I love you.” Use it wisely, but use it often toward those who are dear to you. Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” How will you use your words this week to lift up another person’s life?

 

Look for the Possibilities

Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to watch what each day brings.  Albert E. Dunning

12377584_10102575454021383_4012495737842196173_o

 

It seems a bit ironic that a visually impaired woman would encourage others to have focus and vision. Helen Keller didn’t let her challenges keep her from looking at the possibilities in her own life. Born in 1880, Helen became both blind and deaf at nineteen months of age due to a childhood illness, yet she was the first blind and deaf woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and authored a dozen books and numerous other writings. In her book We Bereaved she wrote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Where are you looking? Have you allowed your eyes to zoom in on the frustrations that are right in front of you, making them seem larger than life? Or are you looking at the bigger broader picture – the picture that includes possibilities and hope? There are always possibilities around the corner, but we need to be looking for them instead of dwelling on what we don’t have. I like to say that the “B” in Plan B stands for beautiful. Often we think our Plan A was the perfect plan and that Plan B is second rate. Have you ever considered that Plan B is God’s Plan A and He can do a great work despite our disappointments and even our mistakes?

It may be difficult to conceive in your mind that anything good could come from hurt, pain and loss whether it is a physical, financial or a family tragedy in your life. We must be honest and grieve through the sadness that life brings. We don’t want to ignore our disappointment and hurt in our heart, but we also don’t want to close our mind’s eye to the redemption God can bring in the toughest of situations.  It may take time and perseverance. Plan B may be difficult, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. Perhaps the “B” in Plan B means “Be patient.” Allow God to do His work in His way, and do not despair for there is always hope.

Read more in Positive Life Principles for Women

Will God Answer My Prayers?

March

The following is an excerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word.

Do you want to know how to pray more effectively? Silly question, right? Who doesn’t want to see their prayers answered? A Newsweek poll titled “Is God Listening?” showed that of those who do pray, 87 percent believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. We have all had times when we prayed for something and didn’t seem to get the answer that we were hoping for, making us question, did I pray the right way? Is God mad at me? Did He really hear me? Why does He answer some of my prayers and not others?

The Bible is our guidebook for prayer. In His Word we not only see powerful examples of answered prayer, but we also find the teachings of Jesus on how to pray effectively. In the Scriptures we discover God’s invitation to prayer and His desire for us to cast our cares on Him. We also learn some of the reasons why prayers may not be answered exactly how we had wished. We learn to view prayer from a heavenly perspective, not an earthly one. I find it humbling to think that Almighty God invites us to pray. He loves us and cares about the details of our lives. From Genesis to Revelation we find examples of God listening to His people and answering their prayers.

The apostle John wrote, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” How do we know we are praying according to God’s will? His will is revealed in His Word, so if we are going to pray according to His will, we must pray according to His Word. Certainly we don’t find a listing of His will for every detail or every circumstance of our lives, yet the more we know of His Word, the more we come to understand His heart of love. We learn who He is and how He works. We want to approach God’s throne with confidence, and we can do that as we get to know His heart through His Word.

Honestly, I can look back at my life and thank the Lord for the prayers He didn’t answer exactly as I asked. Why does God answer some prayers and seemingly leave others unanswered? Because He loves us and sees things from an eternal perspective. Can we trust the God of love, the God who sees all things, the God who sees the beginning and the end? In His time and in His way, He is at work beyond what we can see. As the apostle Paul wrote,   For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Watch this video for a brief word from Karol about prayer.

How has prayer changed your life?