“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:19b NLT).
“The tongue can bring death or life” (Proverbs 18:21a).
To leave a room better than you found it, is a considerate way to live life. But far more important is the notion of leaving people better than you find them.
How can we do that? Certainly not by brushing dandruff from their shoulders or informing them of the broccoli in their teeth (although, the latter can certainly be a loving gesture). It’s far better to affirm the good in others, rather than notice what’s not necessarily appealing.
Do you have a critical eye? That can be helpful if you’re a quality control sort of person. But in the highest scheme of things in life, it’s preferable to leave your critical eye at the office when engaging with people. Take notice of the good, and call their attention to it as well. Scripture teaches us to leave each acquaintance with a lighter step, enhanced hope, heightened courage, increased confidence, and a growing portion of peace.
Want to be a better friend? A better you? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today:
Your Word and the example of Jesus are so very clear: you have taught and modeled kindness and love. When I think of my history and how many times I’ve used my words to criticize people, I wilt with remorse. But, Lord, I turn that remorse into repentance, asking for your forgiveness, receiving it and the cleansing you so generously promise me in your Word. I take your gifts, your generous forgiveness and cleansing, and make a determination to become a person more like Jesus; ready with a word of encouragement to edify the people with whom I come into contact. I realize this prayer requires your part as well as mine – the transformation of my mind. Let it be!
In Jesus’ Name,
Want to pursue further steps? Simply ask the Holy Spirit for your next assignment in becoming a better you. Perhaps it’s learning to live above offense and determining to forgive every person that rubs you the wrong way. With His help, we can obey, and by his grace, we can change!
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” ~Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
“Who may stand in His holy place? Only those…who…never tell lies…” (Psalm 24:3b,4)
And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
How many times a day do we tamper with the truth? We pad this, we down-play that to serve our purposes. Followers of Jesus are called to be honest people, through and through.
As Christ who embodies Truth, we can learn to refrain from lies, exaggeration, and hyperbole. Is your mouth tainted like that rest of us with a tendency to shave the truth to make a deal, create more appeal, or just cover your rear?
Pray this plain and simple prayer with us today….
I am done with all dishonesty and doctoring truth. White lies matter to you as do full-on falsehoods. Please forgive me, cleanse me, and purge me from the pride that causes me to edit my own P.R.
I release my reputation to you.
Teach me, please, to speak the truth and allow the chips to fall wherever they may, for You will be my “rear guard.” I’ll leave it to you to protect me as I learn to speak the truth and only the truth, so help me God.
So, help me God!
Here’s another of our blogposts that speak to the issue of honesty: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/prayerplainandsimple/2016/08/prayer-tell-truth.html
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”
Almost everyone longs for romance. Little wonder. God was the One to think it up; we were made for relationship.
When God created Adam, he knew He wasn’t done. “It is not good for the man to be alone.” So He gave him someone who was literally “bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh.” Eve was a companion as well as a lover, a covenant partner with whom Adam could walk, enjoy sunsets, share meals, share kids, and learn to love unselfishly as God loved.
But fairy tales, not Scripture, speak of “happily ever after.” On this side of heaven, at least, relationships don’t always pan out. When we are contending with the free will of another human being, things get complicated. Relationships unravel. Romance fizzles. Dazzling beauties get old and frumpy. Things change.
True love weathers these storms and transitions – true love, though, only happens when people are true.
Today as many prepare to celebrate the love of their lives, others are feeling loveless as well as hopeless. Valentine’s Day, perhaps more than any other holiday, can be a long and painful 24 hours. If you have lost your love through death, abandonment, rejection, or divorce, you have our sincere prayers today….
Thank you that in your Word you promised to be near to the broken-hearted. We recognize that your Word is as good as your word. You meant everything you said, and it holds true today. So, Lord, as you draw near to this beloved, heart-broken lover, we ask that you would make manifest your presence by giving him/her the gift of hope.
We boldly request that from your hand which extends from your great heart of mercy you would heal the deep emotional wounds caused by disappointment.
You are not a god who plays with our lives like a Chess game to win over us. No, you play to ensure that we win. Therefore we know that with every betrayal, every sin against us, and every misstep we make ourselves, you recalibrate the chess board to give us another opportunity for success.
So, Lord, use this pain and what feels like failure to bring about a new day for the broken-hearted. May encouragement come from unforeseen quarters. May joy be found bubbling up from deep within. May wings sprout to cause them to soar again. And with the sunrise on Valentine’s Day, may new horizons be discovered so that the pain and grief will dissipate bringing joy with the morning light.
For more encouragement, here is another blogpost you might find helpful – A Prayer For Anyone With a Broken Heart http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/prayerplainandsimple/2009/08/a-prayer-for-anyone-with-a-broken-heart.html
Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. John 17:7,8a ~Jesus’ Prayer (NLT)
Shortly before His death and resurrection, Jesus prayed for his disciples. It is recorded for us in John 17 when the beloved disciple of Jesus eavesdropped, captured the prayer, wrote it down, and shared it with us. Read it in its entirety, and be greatly encouraged as well as challenged, for these are the thoughts and desires that dominated the heart of our Lord when He interceded for us.
Let’s borrow bits and pieces of His prayer, and pray this powerful, anointed prayer over our children today…
I have done my best to reveal You to the ones you gave me…I have passed on the message You gave me in Your Word. [Here we might want to do a little repenting for where we’ve missed it, and don’t forget to receive His forgiveness and grace!]
My prayer is for those you have given me because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me. (Thank You, Lord, for the gift they are!)
Protect them by the power of Your Name. I have given them your word.
They do not belong to this world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than You did, Jesus, when you walked this earth.
Make them holy by your truth. Teach them your word which is Truth. You are sending them into the world as God sent Jesus into the world. And you gave yourself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
Father, I pray that they will be one as you and Jesus are one. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent Jesus and that you love them just as much as you love Jesus!
Father, I want these whom you have given me to be together, working side by side with me in Your Kingdom. I have done my best to reveal them to you, and I will continue to do so.
In Jesus’ Name and with His very own words, Amen!
Photo courtesy of Foter.com