"Stephanas, Fortunatas and Achaicus...have been a wonderful encouragement to me." 1 Corinthians 16:17 - 18
Most of us have no idea how much other people's emotions, self esteem and hopes are influenced by what we say. Paul said, "Stephanas, Fortunatas, and Achaicus...have been a wonderful encouragement to me." If you have never heard of them, it is because most encouragers hate being the centre of attention. They are happy to work in a supporting role. But without them very little would get done. The opposite of giving encouragement is spreading discouragement, and Paul says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up...that it may benefit those who listen" Ephesians 4:29. Jesus said..."You will give account...by your words you will be justified, and...condemned" Matthew 12:36 - 37. What you say can never be taken back and it will be used as evidence for or against you one day.
Dr. Thomas Blackaby points out, "Words...can leave scars for a life time, and many people will never forget some of the things you have said to them, both good things, such as words of encouragement, and bad things, such as criticism and rebuke...Make the best possible use of words so they bring blessings on others." So, are your words encouraging? Can it be said that there is...nothing crooked or perverse...in them" Proverbs 8:8? Ask God to "set a guard...over your mouth..." Psalm 141:3. So whatever you say glorifies Him and lifts others up.