Love is the accurate estimate and adequate supply of another person’s needs. I love this definition by my friend Dick Foth. Read it again. It’s maybe not how you would have defined it, is it? We are usually asking, what can I GET out of this relationship? But what if we were asking ourselves, what can I GIVE to this relationship? It kind of changes everything. Now before you get overwhelmed by the thought of what it would take to be that kind of friend, let me share with you one simple first step that God has been challenging me with recently.
Start speaking life-giving words. Hebrews 13:3 says “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today.” What I’m reading here is that the only requirement for me to offer encouragement is… wait for it… that it’s today. Isn’t every day today? Everyone needs words of life spoken into them once in a while. In fact, they make all the difference in the world. Remember when Dorothy and her motley crew got to the end of the yellow brick road where they were supposed to meet the Great & Powerful Oz who could fix all of their problems? But in the end, what did he give them? A little encouragement. They just needed someone to tell them that they had a heart of gold, that they were smart, that they were courageous. There have been many times when I was feeling like a failure as a mom or as a wife, or like a terrible friend. And people have spoken life-giving words into those dark places. They accurately assessed my need for words of encouragement.
Words have life, girls! When you speak something, it breathes. If it’s negative, it will grow into something that rots & destroys. (And that includes words that you speak about yourself). If it’s encouraging, it will spread & sprout into something beautiful and healing.
How can you speak life into a friend today? How can you speak life into your children? How can you speak life into your spouse? Or your co-worker? After all, it is today!