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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – February 13, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – February 13, 2020

Loving Words by Jodie Montgomery

 

Happy Valentine’s Day (or week…)! Valentines are such a reminder to me of the power of encouragement, the power of loving words. John 13:34-35 says that believers will be known by their love for one another. Love is expressed! I am particularly fond of Valentine’s Day as I value the written word and cherish this opportunity to encourage loved ones through written words in happy pink, red and white.  

 

I also know the destructive nature of unloving words. I have sat across the desk from many who have been hurt by ugly words, mean red words, nothing like the red letter words of Christ. I’d like to say that this isn’t in reference to believers’ words but it is. May this Valentine’s Day be a time we recommit to building up others with our words. I’m convicted that I take the easy route of impatiently saying what isn’t working rather than encouraging what is. I’m convicted that I think more of myself when I speak than I think of others.

 

Philippians 2:1-4 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

 

I know this is a problem in our church, a problem wherever people gather. When people are brave enough to say their feelings are hurt, they are oftentimes labeled as too sensitive or even mean for pointing out the “jest”. It is wise to refuse to be easily offended, but we also need to be honest. His Body is called to speak the truth in love, to help one another grow more like Christ. Humbly acknowledging insensitive comments from us and around us may help grow us. This is the church serving one another with sanctification in mind, honest and teachable.

 

Need some common examples of little things we say that may hurt? I have a friend with a special needs son. I’ve accompanied her enough to hear some pretty non thought out words expressed in questions to her: What is his problem? Any hope that he won’t be with you forever? Is there anything that therapy can accomplish? Have you considered special housing? How old is he…mentally?

 

I have the joy of having several pregnant women in my Bible Studies, beautiful, godly women. I’d forgotten how people feel free to comment openly on the physical appearance of the pregnant (not to mention to even touch a belly). The last month of pregnancy is hard enough without people making comments about your ankles, how worn out you look, or how they cannot believe you haven’t delivered, and that you couldn’t possibly get any bigger. Some say “any day now” as if that encourages. The obvious isn’t necessarily the best thing to point out.

 

Back to the kindness of a Valentine…

Colossians 3:12 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…” 

 

It’s a joy to bless others with our words. Thanking God for His red letters. We are loved.