30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Twenty-Six - The Discouraging Tongue
When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them - Job 29:24
Have you ever dampened someone's hope, confidence, or enthusiasm by raising objections to his proposed action? An untold number of individuals have missed their destiny because of someone's discouraging words. Teachers have dashed the dreams of students who had mediocre grades or other shortcomings. Would-be inventors abandoned their pursuit of innovative ideas ideas once family members and society ridiculed them. I do not believe that people who have dissuaded others in such a manner deliberately intended to discourage them, but rather spoke out of their own lack of faith in God's ability to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us - Ephesians 3:20
Discouragement has wreaked havoc for ages. What about you? When you see others faced with negative circumstances, do you lose hope in their ability to succeed? Further, can you listen to someone's dreams and plans without making disheartening remarks? This is not to say that you should not question the viability of an idea that seems to have no merit, nor fail to offer objective input to warn against potential failure, However, a well-phrased question can be much more effective that a straight out "That's impossible!" For example, asking a young entrepreneur, "How did you determine the market for your product?" sounds better than, "Gee, I don't think many people would be interested in that!"
Even if you cannot envision the dreams of another, at least agree to stand in faith with him for God's perfect will to be done regarding the proposed endeavor. Henry Ford once said that the ability to encourage others is one of life's biggest assets. Think of the people who have encouraged you during your lifetime and what a positive effect their words had had on you. In a world plagued with negativity, everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time. Make a conscious effort to always speak sincere words of affirmation, support, and inspiration to those within your circle of concern.
If, perchance, you are confronted by a discourager, do not let him derail your destiny. Very graciously let him know your eyes are fixed on God, who specializes in doing the impossible. Better yet, be highly selective of those with whom you share your dreams. Their lack of initiative and faith, and even their envy, may very well cause you to abort your plans.
Worry weighs a person down: but my encouraging words will cheer him up.