AN ENCOURAGING WORD IN A DISCOURAGING WORLD: A WORD OF PRAISE
Paul thanks God for the Roman Christians. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Rom.1:8). He praises them that their faith is being recognized around the world. They are making an impact for Christ and that is an encouraging thing to Paul. So, he encourages them in return. This isn’t empty flattery. The Apostle isn’t telling them something he thinks they want to hear, to manipulate them to do something for him. He is genuinely grateful and offers them an encouraging word of praise.
There will always be those who will find fault—that will use their words like daggers to stab us. Their caustic words eat at our soul like a corrosive acid. That’s the way the world works to discourage us. Let us choose that this church house will be a place of encouragement—a refuge from the harsh treatment we receive in the world. Refuse to participate in demeaning speech. Instead, offer words that build up, rather than tear down.
Parents need to exercise caution about what they say to their little ones and how they say it. Harsh, hurtful words will make soul-wounds that are difficult to get over. As Paul expressed his gratitude to God for each member of that church, let us express that for each child God gives to us—all unique and all to be equally valued.