“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