99. Use Your Words to Build Up
When you are experiencing challenges in your life, how would you like others to treat you? What would you like them to say? What kind of support would you likely need when this happens?
Those are difficult questions to answer for yourself. They are even more difficult when you try to help someone who is hurting. Hurting people hurt people. Imagine an event in the past when you were so hurt and frustrated you hurt the one who supported you. When you turn this around, you can well imagine someone else's confusion.
Use your words to build up. Say nothing when words escape you. Your presence may be what they need. Push away and intentionally ignore all distractions (your text and calls can wait). Your focused presence will validate the reality you care for and about them. Ephesians 4:29 states "Don't let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Pastor Rick Warren, in one of his blogs, wrote "If you talk less and listen more, you can better understand people's needs." Compassion and understanding are needed.
Do you remember words that hurt you long ago? Do you think the person who said them to you remembers? Careless words can truly sting and make someone suffer. Be very careful with what you say. Often silence and caring respect are more than enough.
When support is needed know your power tool; that is preparation through the word and in prayer. Keep your guards in place. This means to carefully check how; the way you present your support to the hurt. Be very careful if there are more than one person. Children will have a different understanding. Remember, embracing someone with a hug who is hurt may only benefit you and often not them. Ask careful questions, listen, care, validate, ignore all distractions, encourage and build them up. Your actions and conduct are vital.
Psalm 19:14 states "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Use the words prayerfully and carefully.
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