Every day you and I give people an impression of who Jesus is by the words we use. Are they hearing, or reading, words from you which would draw them to Christ or push them away? Are you using words which draw you into greater relationship with God or words which create distance? Over the next 29 days I will be sharing from the devotional journal, “Watch Your Mouth”, with the prayer that it helps you discover some of what God has to say about choosing words which honor Him.
Here is day three with an important reminder that watching your mouth should lead you to use words of exhortation.
Choose Exhorting Words
“Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.”
Hebrews 13:22 (NIV)
What comes to mind when you think of the word, exhortation? Is it a positive thought, negative thought, or somewhat neutral? When have you been most in need of being exhorted — urged or spurred on to action? Are there ways of delivering exhortation that makes it more likely to be heeded? How does your receptiveness to exhortation influence your ability to effectively exhort others? Are there things that make it easier for you to choose exhorting words when the people around you need to hear them?
The writer of Hebrews concludes the book with a request that the reader would bear with his words exhortation. Urging someone to follow through with right behavior is not always an easy thing to do and often not something that people eagerly listen to. As you pray, ask God to help you receive words of exhortation with an open heart, spirit, and mind. Pray that you would be filled with God’s love when you need to choose exhorting words to speak to others. Pray for wisdom in exhorting others to love and good deeds.