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“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”Proverbs 16:24/NIV
While attending high school during my teenage years, I had a teacher and coach who was quiet and calm and conveyed a spirit of peace and comfort. For me, he was an inspirational role model and someone who taught me how to demonstrate grace under pressure. The statements he made were insightful and reflected much wisdom. Many years later, I think of him and recall his statements that gave me insight. I also remember the kind words he said to me that helped me to recognize my value in the eyes of others!
“You’re a good man” is a statement he would often say to people around him who demonstrated positive qualities. He expressed this appreciation fairly often, reflecting his recognition and approval of someone’s hard work. I recall hearing his appreciation directed toward me which was very much welcomed and appreciated. His timing with reflections of kindness was remarkable, which was very much needed, especially when others were mean and cruel! It was nice to hear that I was a “good man!”
This kind teacher and coach was a mentor for me, and his words have influenced me throughout my life. I am a therapist who provides counseling for people with deep seeded concerns. Recently I listened to a person process their difficulties and how these have impacted them in life. Recognizing their strong qualities, character, and courage, I told this frustrated individual: “I am proud of you.” Upon hearing this, uncontrollable tears with intense emotions emerged, but after a few moments regained composure. This broken-hearted soul asked, “can you tell me that again?”
The words I spoke to this frustrated person came from the heart and were an honest reflection of my interpretations. I seek to consider Proverbs 16:24 before speaking. Still, Ephesians 4:29 also guides me in what I say: “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” (NIV). I am thankful for the kind teacher I had early in life who taught me the powerful impact words could have. I am thankful to have God’s Word, which gives me wisdom regarding what to say to help others!
Self-reflection consideration: Are my statements healing to the bones, and do they help build others up?
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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