The Not-So-Encouraging Words

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Richard Nixon had already had one nominee for the Supreme Court shot down by the Senate and it was looking like his second choice Harold Carswell was about to go down as well. Since he was attacked as a mediocre choice, Republicans were asked to help bolster the candidate. Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska tired with the following statement,” Even if [Carswell] were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they?” Needless to say, this didn’t help the case and Carswell didn’t get the job.

Everybody needs a little encouragement every now and then. Yet we need to make sure that our attempts don’t do the opposite.  Consider three ways to make sure your words build up and not tear down

Are they Considered? Don’t just say something. Make sure your words have meaning and that meaning is good.

Are they Timely? You can say the right thing and still be ineffective because of the timing. Encourage when it is needed.

Are they Helpful? Some things are nice to say but they ring hollow because they don’t fill the person’s need. The same words over and over lose their effectiveness.

It is good to be an encourager. But it is far better to be an effective one.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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