By: Gail Armatys, Heartsong Life Purpose Coach
I was just a few minutes away from boarding a plane. While standing in line to get a cup of coffee, I overheard a woman speaking to a pilot waiting patiently to receive his made-to-order drink.
He is held captive as he waits (having paid in advance for his order) and she – the woman talking – adds condiments to her order stirring, stirring, stirring all while complaining and scolding very matter-of-factly about the last time she flew on his airline.
He looked as though he’d give anything to walk away or at least rip the name of the airline off of his shirt and tell her she had the wrong guy. Because oooooh, the problems she had with her last flight. Problems this young pilot most assuredly had nothing to do with and no ability to resolve.
I happened to be right behind the pilot so was not intentionally eavesdropping, really. But if I had been, I wouldn’t have had to strain one little bit to hear. It was that kind of one-sided conversation. The pilot stood staring straight down without comment as she continued to lament.
Once she was done and walked away, I smiled and quietly thanked him for the work he does and told him, “I’m just happy when the plane lands.” He smiled sheepishly and said, “Thank you” and told me he appreciated my words, grabbed his coffee and probably headed to a plane full of passengers he hoped to please.
Words are Sacred
I tell this story not because I think I was some kind of hero that saved his day – but I think maybe my words could have. Obviously, this doesn’t happen in my life all the time. I’ve been known to speak before thinking a time or two – I know you’re shocked!
I tell this story because as the woman reprimanded him, I could visibly see the pilot’s shoulders turn in and his posture change. His entire body reflected her words; negative, troubled, and harsh. His countenance reminded me of our sweet little puppy while being reprimanded.
One gasp of surprise and a couple of words in a disapproving tone would cause his little head to bow and shoulders to sink (in his case, guilty as charged) until he heard a more cheerful tenor and most assuredly received a hug.
How little it took to bring light into bleak moments in both the pilot and puppy’s situations. In the event of the pilot, I probably said fewer than twelve words – two sentences – and his countenance changed. It was as though I’d put my hand under a little boy’s chin (or maybe a puppy’s) and lifted his face and told him it was all good. And that he was, too. Clearly, our words matter.
Bless and You’ll Be Blessed
It doesn’t cost much to bring hope and brighten someone’s day. Does it? A little time and ingenuity. Perhaps some boldness. Or…maybe even a little setting aside of our pride.
Pride? Yes, in cases where we encourage the one who has been inflicting pain. Why would we bring hope to someone causing us discomfort? Well, that little piece of scripture in Matthew 5:44 that reminds us to love our enemies immediately comes to mind. Sorry, I didn’t write it! And then there is this…
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked…1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG
Fulfill Your Daily Purpose and Bring Joy
Bringing to life God’s call to say nothing hurtful, but to cultivate good instead, might mean that all the person delivering the pointed comments needs to hear from us are a few words that swing things in a positive direction. You know, maybe the person has a case of kick–the-dog syndrome. (Guess I’m into dogs today.) In other words, “I hurt so I’m going to inflict pain on someone else.” I give you exhibit ‘A’ – the airport lady. She felt put out by her horrible, terrible, awful flight and she wasn’t going to rest until she let someone know and left them feeling like she felt – or worse.
But really, wouldn’t we rather go the other, better route? Speaking words aimed at encouragement, life, and good bring hope every time. Not only that, we’ve just learned in 1Peter that doing so brings blessing.
So if you are looking to add more joy to your life, start with intention the simple and sincere motive of speaking encouragement and good into the lives of others. It is one important step to fulfilling our daily purpose.
- Pay attention this week to the words you speak to others…even to yourself.
- Think of a person in your life who may need a few meaningful words of encouragement right now. Also, make a point to be encouraging to all who cross your path today.
- Note how you feel having shed a little more light…on purpose.
- Keep doing it!
Father, I praise you for allowing me to bring joy to the lives of others through something as simple as my words. And I thank you for the blessing you promise to bring me as I do so. Help me to control my tongue and bring light to others all while living out your purposes for my life. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
Speak Life/Toby Mac
Live the Song Written on Your Heart.