Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Wednesday, May 8 - Encouraging Words

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” — Ephesians 4:29

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A young athlete nervously stares at the ground as she prepares to enter a game for the first time. A teammate yells out, “You’ve got this!” With these words, the young athlete raises her head and confidently takes the field.

Having served as a chaplain for various athletic teams over the years, I have witnessed the power our words have on others. Our words carry with them the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). The Bible instructs us to encourage and build others up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). One way we do this is with the words we speak to, and over, others. Gracious words are sweet to our souls. They nourish us and give us courage. A word spoken in the right moment can cheer up a heart weighed down by anxiety. It can instill hope.

While our words can be a source of encouragement in the athletic arena, they are even more important when it comes to our spiritual lives. With the ups and downs we all face in life, we need to hear words that encourage us and give us courage to keep on keeping on in our walk with the Lord.

Likewise, the words we speak can bring hope and courage to others. Catching someone doing something right or well, and telling them so, can increase their confidence, enabling them to do even better in the future.

Our words are important. How can you use your words to encourage someone today?

— Karen Zando, Orlando Pride team chaplain

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