Yesterday I went out Christmas shopping with a few of my siblings. We only went to a few stores, but ended up quite happy with all the bargains and good stuff we found. Anyway, as I was looking at some stuff a few aisles away from my other siblings, a woman I didn't know at all and only remembered seeing in passing earlier in the store spoke to me.
"I like how you look," she said. Surprised, I thanked her, and she continued speaking words that encouraged me.
Then, just before she walked away, she finished with, "Keep doing what you're doing."
I was caught off guard, and so surprised, that this complete stranger, someone I had never met, would stop me to say such encouraging, sweet words to me. It also made me realize something.
Our words have an effect on others. Whether for good, or for bad, that's what our choices decide. But God wants us to, as Toby Mac says in one of his songs, "speak life." We have the opportunity to make someone's day, encourage and uplift them, and while we can, we really should!
Too often, I may feel like, or want to, compliment someone and encourage them with my words, but I don't. Naturally shy (and a worrier) I think, What if they take my words the wrong way? or the selfish what will I do after I compliment her? Stand around awkwardly while she thanks me and then walk away? Obviously if that woman I encountered had these thoughts, she dismissed them and instead chose to bless me- and I am grateful that she did. I walked away with a smile on my face- and in my heart. It was one of the best Christmas gifts I could have received and honestly brightened my day.
If I have the opportunity to make someone else in my own life feel the same way that that woman made me feel, to bless them with my words, will I ignore it, or choose to "speak life"?