Proverbs 25:11 (KJV): “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
By Drew Crandall
I don’t know what your workplace is like, but in my experience and observation, words of encouragement do not come often. For example, one research study I came across years ago estimated that business owners typically receive 27 complaints for every 1 compliment.
By contrast, would you agree that words of encouragement by bosses, peers, employees, customers, suppliers or someone in the wider community can be enormously valuable mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
Back in the 1990’s, I organized annual regional conferences for Christian business owners and CEO’s. During one conference, one of the keynote speakers suggested that we all deliberately create a “Smile File.” Whenever we receive some kind of encouraging feedback (digitally, by card or note), SAVE IT in a special place where it can be easily retrieved. That way, when you have future moments of discouragement, weariness, and despair (and you WILL), you can go through your Smile File and be encouraged. I followed this man’s advice, and over 20 years later, my “Smile File” still exists today!
APPLICATION: Today, I encourage you to do two things:
* Maintain your own Smile File. It’s amazing how far a little encouragement can go, and take the “edge” out of your daily grind. Relish those messages, and save them for future reference so they can minister to you again if and when needed.
* Make entries into other people’s Smile Files. It’s amazing how little it really takes to speak or write a word of encouragement to someone in-person or by mail, phone, text, email or social media post. Typically, all it costs you is time and perhaps some out of pocket expense for a card and postage. In the big picture, whatever you spend is tiny compared with the value you will bring to someone else.
To be more specific, within the context of your work life:
* How can you encourage your business owner today?
* How can you encourage your supervisor today?
* How can you encourage your co-workers today?
* How can you encourage your employees today?
* How can you encourage your customers today?
* How can you encourage your suppliers today?
Proverbs 11:25 says, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Today, reach out and touch someone with a thoughtful word of encouragement and leave the outcomes to Him. You should not encourage others with the expectation of getting something back, but in God’s mysterious ways, your thoughtful gesture will boomerang back to you somehow, some way, and some time.
Drew Crandall has strong New Jersey roots. He spent five formative years of his childhood in Somerset. Since 2001, he has served as Co-Chair of Called To Work, a workplace ministry originally based at Rutgers Community Christian Church in Somerset. Called To Work has since grown into a nationwide ministry. Please see www.CalledToWork.org for details.