“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT)
I have seen how, if someone is criticized and belittled, they want to give up. It breaks them. It causes them to actually NOT work as hard as they would have been if they were encouraged. Someone who has been encouraged tends to put more effort in what they are working toward. It gives them the extra push to do even better.
There have been many scientific studies proving that it takes many, many positive comments to cancel out just one negative comment. Don’t get me wrong…sometimes people do need correction and/or criticism. However, when we find ourselves in the place to have to do the correcting, we can find ways to deliver it in a caring way. Be careful and thoughtful with your family, spouse, kids, friends, coworkers, and employees. What we say affects and effects people!
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)
But what do I do when I find myself being criticized, belittled, picked at, hurt by what someone is saying to me? It is hard! If I am being completely honest, I may get mad or even cry for a little while, but then…
…then I have to remind myself of God’s promises. The scriptures that are in my heart and memory. Or when I have trouble reminding myself, I sometimes pick up a ‘God’s Promise Book’ (there are many books falling into this category, but they typically have categories listed, you find the area you need help with and there is a whole list of scriptures related to what you need at that moment).
But other times, I still need to reach out to someone to help me. To give me godly advice. To strengthen me and to encourage me. And I pray that I can be that person someday, to help someone else that needs encouragement.
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT)