Words of Affirmation

 

TUIRU743JZDeep down in our core, we all long to be accepted. G-d gave us the ability to communicate with words and actions for a reason. When someone acknowledges us, it gives us a sense of joy and approval. We all have different love languages. The key is to find what language speaks to each person.

My love language is a mix of affirmation/words/quality of time.  Forget sticks and stones that break my bones. It’s words that hurt much more! Lack of communication drives me crazy. If I put in a call or send a message and I don’t get a response, the absence of words sets this girl on fire!  However on the flip side, a message returned, a compliment, or just sharing of someone’s heart/visit, makes my heart sing!

After being so sick, (to the point where I thought my life was coming to end) I had plenty of time to reflect.  I wondered what G-d would say to me when I stood in His holy presence.  I was worried I would face Him and He would be disappointed with me.

What I was worried about was, did I leave His mark?   Would people know how much I loved Him?  Would they say that they could see the love of Christ in my actions?  Would G-d say that I had loved others more than I had loved myself?  Did my family and friends really know how much I loved them? Did I let His light shine?

These were some of the many questions I pondered.

What I found in many of my memories was a deep regret that I hadn’t given more, because what if someone didn’t want it?

Maybe I wouldn’t have enough?

Or my outbursts of anger, because I had felt insecure and jealous.

The times I hadn’t spoken the very words that were on my heart when I felt an unction, for fear of looking stupid.

Each disappointing  memory I had, led back to fear and rejection. All that wasted time, I had taken the bait.

I realized I hadn’t been living the way that G-d had called me to all those years.  I was living in my own selfish desires and hurts. Fear still tries to hold me back.  Thankfully, this is something that G-d and I work on daily together.  He has been so gracious with me, which is more than I can say about myself.

I pleaded with Him that if He let me live, I was going to live each day like it was my last. I have experienced with my own eyes how quickly life can be taken.

Senseless tragedies happen around the world daily.  Some have been battling and illness and know that their days are numbered.  While others wake up and go into their day unknowingly giving their last kisses goodbye, only to never come home.

So how can we live each day like it is our last?  This is what I am learning how to do.

  1. Speak life.

When you see someone who his down, be sure to step up to the plate and encourage them.  Whether it be in scripture or personal experiences, share with them words that have really helped you.  It may sound morbid, but we never know what the future holds and we don’t want to live life with any regrets.  We live in a world that is quick to point out your flaws, but hardly notices the good.  I am not speaking about flattery, but true sincere heartfelt encouragement.  We are told over and over in the bible to comfort others as we would want to be comforted. Words bring such hope.

People need to know what a difference they have made in our lives.  They won’t know it, if we don’t speak it.  Everyone needs to be reminded from time to time that they are important. I even compliment people that I don’t know. If I think something nice on my heart, I share it.  I have never had stranger say that I was stupid for complimenting them.  At first I felt awkward, but after seeing so many down faces turn into bright shiny smiles, it’s thrilling!

2.  Forgive. 

Yes, I know you probably want to smack me. Trust me, I have been there. I can give you every scripture on forgiveness, but I will simply state it.  Forgiveness doesn’t let the other person off the hook, it breaks our bondage. If you look at what Jesus taught us to do, it wasn’t to let the offender off easy, it was to bring freedom for us. In some scenarios I can forgive easily and be done with it.  Others, it’s daily and sometimes a moment by moment choice (not a feeling) that we have make. We may not be able to do it on our own, but with G-d, anything is possible.

3. Pray.

I also make sure to pray for every person that I promised I would.  Being a person who has lived on the prayers of peoples hearts, I know the utmost importance of this priceless gift.  Our words are so important, that all of heaven and hell are listening. There is a war for our souls and we must make sure that we do our part. How many of the prophets helped change G-d’s mind as they begged for mercy?  He answers our words!

Words are so important, that G-d spoke everything that came to be into existence.  Our words have power!

4. Give.

I am also learning the importance of giving.  There have been countless times in our lives, where G-d used people to help provide for us.  We couldn’t have gotten through those tough times, without the selflessness of others.

I am learning the gift of giving is also one of my favorites.  I used to be a tight ol’ scrooge and now G-d has transformed me by His hand (really, it is a miracle!) to love to give.  Whether it be money, time, a meal, or even resources  Share G-d’s love and truth by words and example.  It’s all bringing glory to G-d when we truly give of ourselves and expect nothing in return. It has helped heal my broken heart in being able to help someone else in their time of need.

5. Listen.

I have found  while people love encouragement, a lot of times they just need to vent. We all go through things and sometimes it’s nice not to have to pay someone to hear it!  In listening you may feel led to further be able to help the person in a tangible way.  Other times, just the act of you letting them know that they are important enough to be heard can speak louder than words. Especially I have found that the elderly, disabled, and the sick really appreciate this. Often these people do not feel valuable because they can’t contribute in the way they used to. When you have gone through a lot, there is wisdom to be shared!

6. Be trustworthy.

Knowing that we can trust someone, is priceless. While our words are extremely valuable.  We must also remember that when others share, their words are equally as important.  We must have integrity. Some of my most painful experience have been when I have confided in someone and they went and told someone else.

Unless someone is in great danger or they have given permission to speak, there is no reason betray their confidence.  Plain and simple, it’s gossip. We have all partaken of this toxic fruit and I am sure we all can agree, it isn’t worth it.  To be trustworthy and loyal leaves a invaluable example for others to follow. So zip your lips and be thankful that someone trusted you enough to share their heart, it’s quite and honor.

In a very dark world that uses words to shame, scare, and condemn.  Let’s use our words to lift up, give hope, and speak life.  Every word of affirmation that we speak to someone, squelches any flaming arrow of the evil one.  Whether or not you know it, it melts the hardened heart.  It brings joy to the broken.  It gives hope to the soul, and helps encourage to persevere for yet another day.

Let us live each day like it is our last.

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