I love giving gifts, especially at Christmas time. I love making my list, thinking of the perfect gift for each person, something that I know they’ll love and appreciate. I love wrapping each present with pretty paper and bows adorned with far too much glitter and attaching a little card to up the ante. My favorite part of the whole process is watching the person unwrap the gift I picked out specifically for them. It’s the best to watch their eyes light up and see a big smile take over their face. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting presents as much as the next girl but for me, the true magic lies in the giving.
The other day I received a sweet, sweet note in the mail from one of my favorite couples, who just so happened to have recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the kindest, most encouraging couple who have made us feel like family since the day we met two years ago and who are now affectionally known as Annie’s honorary great-grandparents. They are precious in every sense of the word. The card was simple and the message sincere. In short: they miss us, they are proud of us and they pray for us often. Those words brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart that lasted all week.
That’s when I realized, words are gifts, too.
They are precious and important and life-giving.
I think of all the things that have been said to me over the years, good and bad. I can recall awful things said about me or to me from years ago, to this day, and I must admit they still sting. I’ve been apart of conversations I should have walked away from and have said things in jest that hurt those I cared about deeply.
But most of the things said to me have been full of light and joy. They have sparked a fire in me and pushed me to be and do better. To be more like Jesus. To love without fear. To be brave. I’ve encouraged a friend with what I thought was a small compliment only to learn later she needed to hear those words at that particular time.
Our words are so powerful.
Our words have the power to change everything.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
– Ephesians 4:29
While words aren’t tangible like a gift with a giant bow, they are the most important gift we’ll give this season. Let’s make it a point to give great gifts with what we say every day, by encouraging our families, friends, colleagues and anyone we come in contact with. To be quick to say Thank you or Congratulations or You look fantastic or I love you.
Can you imagine the difference it would make if we all used our words to build others up? We’re not always going to get this one right but we’re commanded to try.
Let’s speak words of grace, truth and love.
Let’s make each word a gift.