Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
Words are powerful when it comes to building relationships. We have to watch the language we use, because our words can communicate respect or disrespect.
Some people were raised to always speak their mind, but this can bring pain and heartache to the people closest to them. Although the Bible does teach us to speak the truth, it also says to speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15). Always make sure that love is your motive before saying something that might hurt.
Everyone deals with insecurity and the fear of rejection in some way, shape or form, so why add fuel to the fire? Put-downs, name calling, blanket statements and insults only communicate disrespect and damage relationships. The same is true of gossip, manipulation, sarcasm and laughing at another’s expense.
On the other hand, words of encouragement build people up. When you cheer someone on or give a sincere compliment, you empower them.
Learn to take compliments as well as give them out. You may have been taught that accepting compliments leads to pride, so you dismiss these encouraging words quickly and you rarely give them out yourself. But pride comes from thinking you’re better than everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with realizing and celebrating your strengths, as long as you respect and value the strengths in the people around you even more!
As we study God’s Word, we can see how vital it is to honour others. It’s so easy to communicate respect to those around you by giving out encouragement and compliments. You can always find ways to honour people—even when you don’t agree with everything they do!