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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Friday, June 23, 2017

It's Only Words

"Encouraging words well spoken," wrote Solomon, "are like golden apples in silver settings."1

"It's only words and words are all I have to take your heart away." These words are from one of my favorite songs sung by the Bee Gees. Obviously, words can have a powerful effect either for good or for bad, for healing or for hurting, for encouraging or discouraging, or for making others laugh or cry.

With words, we can inspire people and even nations to noble deeds of courage, such as the words Sir Winston Churchill broadcast to spur the British people on to victory when, during World War II, Britain's back was against the wall as she was being bombarded by Germany's relentless air raid attacks. Forty-seven of her warships had been sunk. The Royal Air Force had lost 40 percent of its bomber strength. Britain was on the brink of famine and was facing imminent invasion.

Here's what Churchill said in this hour of great need: "We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight in the fields; we shall fight in the streets; and we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender."2

Or with people such as the Hitlers and the Saddam Husseins of the world, words can be used to motivate people to dastardly deeds of treachery, murder, slaughter, and relentless acts of terrorism.

Most of us, of course, will never be in a position to move multitudes of people, but every single one of us is in a position to make a big difference in the life of at least one person—and in realty, the lives of many people if we are so inclined.

Life is filled with plenty of negatives, setbacks, unkind and hurtful words. And so we all need words of encouragement. Let's not fail to give such a word to at least one person every day whether they are young or old because:

       Words spoken
       may soon pass away
       and forgotten be,
       but when expressed
       in love and kindness
       are like beautiful flowers,
       and even though
       they fade and die
       from conscious memory,
       Their fragrance lives on
       embedded in the
       deeper mind –

© Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to have a loving heart, keeping in mind that 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.' Please use me and the words I speak to encourage a fellow struggler along the way . . . and especially to encourage, motivate, and inspire my loved ones at home. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 25:11 (Paraphrase).
2. Reported by Benjamin P. Browne.
3. Dick Innes. This poem, beautifully presented ready for framing, is available from http://www.actscom.com/store or at: http://tinyurl.com/words-spoken.


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