“You are an amazing woman of God with beautiful gifts, and God’s call is very evident in your life,” the card read. To my 23-year-old self, those words were like water to my purpose-thirsty soul.
Today, over 10 years after a beloved mentor penned that message, I still have that card. Her words live on, encouraging me and producing fruit in my life. In some ways, her words carry even more meaning now than they did when I first received them. And I suspect they have had a far greater impact than my friend ever anticipated.
Our words have the power to bring life to the people around us. This truth is affirmed in Proverbs, where we read, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life” (15:4 ESV). Because we don’t always see the results of our words immediately, it’s easy to underestimate their impact. But, like a tree, our words often start as seeds that require time to take root and bear fruit.
And just as sowing a natural seed requires faith that it will grow, so planting kind words requires faith to believe they will, in time, make a difference.
Your words may seem insignificant to you now. However, your encouragement might give a tired heart the very strength it needs to make it through another day.
Who knows the destiny you might unlock when you point out a child’s strengths?
Who knows how your wise advice might help a friend avoid a painful mistake?
As I contemplated my mentor’s card, I realized that I have never told her what a difference it made to me. So I’ve determined to write her a note to let her know.
What words of life have you planted lately? Consider how you might plant some life-giving words for someone today. And one day, you may just find yourself on the receiving end of a similar note from someone you took the time to encourage!