Proverbs 16:20-24 “It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in God. A wise person gets known for insight; gracious words add to one’s reputation. True intelligence is a spring of fresh water, while fools sweat it out the hard way. They make a lot of sense, these wise folks; whenever they speak, their reputation increases. Gracious speech is like clover honey – good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.” (Message Bible)
Recent studies have shown that encouraging words from a health-care provider can help patients recuperate faster from their ailments. A simple experiment exposed volunteers to a skin allergen to make them itch, and then compared the reactions between those who received assurance from their physician, and those who didn’t. Patients who received encouragement from their doctors had less discomfort and itching than their counterparts.
In Proverbs we see how important encouraging words are. “Gracious words bring healing to the bones.” The positive effect of words isn’t limited to our health: when we heed the wisdom of instruction, we’re also more likely to prosper in our efforts. So too encouragement supports us for the challenges we face now, and may encounter in the future.
We may not fully understand why, or how much wisdom and encouragement brings strength and healing to our daily lives. Yet the affirmation and guidance of our parents, coaches, family and colleagues seem to help us endure difficulty, and steer us toward success. Similarly, the Bible brings us encouragement when we face trials, equipping us to bear up under the most unthinkable circumstances. (thought by Kirsten Holmberg)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Your words of healing and hope. Would you help us to be strengthened by Your wisdom and encouragement, so that we too may offer the healing and hope of “gracious words” to those you have placed in our lives. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.