The words that enter our lives have the potential to change who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming. As we walk through life, we will have words spoken over us that either build us up or tear us down.
It is crucial for us to recognize who we are allowing to speak into our lives and what they’re saying over us. And of course, there’s the deadliest of all words. Our own. More often than not, our own thoughts can be the most harmful of all, since no one else can counter them with the truth.
We must routinely check ourselves and our influences to ensure that we are giving and receiving words of encouragement, conviction, and inspiration.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
The older we get and the more we walk through, the harder life becomes. The intensity of problems grows. We find ourselves no longer concerned about if someone likes us or if we will make the grade we want on a test, but we find ourselves facing situations that impact life-long relationships, family situations, and our physical and mental well-being.
As we walk through life, we need cheerleaders beside us reminding us of what we’ve overcome and why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s easy to get discouraged when we’re caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of life, but the view of a friend can uplift and pull us to a higher perspective that reminds us what life we’re truly benefiting from living.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
WORDS OF CONVICTION
We grow when we have people in our lives who will call us out on our shortcomings in a loving way. Having friends who express concern and suggest solutions is crucial to us experiencing life change. When people correctly share words of conviction, we become aware of a shortcoming and convinced it is time for a change in our behavior and actions.
Note: there is a difference between words of condemnation and words of conviction.
Words of condemnation do not encourage change or promote growth. Rather, words of condemnation encourage shame and promote bitterness. People’s various personalities and communication styles can be misunderstood and cause unintended harm. Recognize the personalities and communication styles of those who healthily challenge you and pursue those relationships.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. – Proverbs 27:6
WORDS OF INSPIRATION
Some of my favorite Instagram posts are encouraging quotes that make me confident I can walk through hard seasons and come out stronger and better. One of my favorite posts I recently saw said, “So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great.”
People’s stories and words can help us recognize that our season is temporary and remember that we are being stretched so we can contain the bigger plans God has for us.
FACING WORDS OF NEGATIVITY
It’s crucial for us to recognize when negative things are being spoken over us, even if that’s from our own mouths. When half-truths or lies become written on us, it’s important for us to immediately wash them off before the words become permanent. I’m learning that one of the ways to do this is to write down specific scriptures on index cards. Journaling also helps tremendously, because it reveals other perspectives and truths that our emotions may mask.
Surround yourself with people who can healthily challenge you, deeply encourage you, and strongly inspire you. When you surround yourself with these types of people, you’ll find yourself feeling loved, protected, and strengthened to be the best you. And of course, make sure the words that come out of your mouth encourage, convict, and inspire others as well.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8