Say Something Nice

Say Something Nice

“True encouragement flows from the heart of God.” ~ It’s Good to Be Queen

Chapter Six: It’s Good to Encourage Others

When I’m asked, “What do you like to do for fun?” my standard answer is read long novels, travel to new places, and watch old movies. But my favorite thing to do is encourage people. Just the best.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (and free).

  1. Keep an eye out for people who need a little boost (we all do).
  2. Ask the Lord for the right thing to say that will lift their spirits.
  3. Share that encouraging thought for His glory and their pleasure.

So simple, yet what a profound difference a few kind words can make.

  • For a young mother who’s fretful about her energetic kids giggling and wriggling in their seats at church, in a restaurant, at the movies:
    “Your children are so happy. You must be a terrific mom!”
  • For a woman whose downcast expression says she’s having a hard day at work:
    In case no one has mentioned this, you’re doing a great job.”
  • For a teenager who has that “I’m so ugly” look on her face:
    “Cute top! And the color matches your eyes perfectly.”

Look, this isn’t rocket science. Just say something nice. It costs nothing, yet might be worth everything to the other person, whether friend or stranger.

Encouragement is optimism in action

Check out the queen of Sheba—a true encourager in action.

“How happy your people must be!
How happy your officials,
who continually stand before you
and hear your wisdom!”
1 Kings 10:8

Love all the exclamation points! This is one enthusiastic woman here. “O the happiness of thy men” (YLT) and “How blessed are your staff!” (ISV).

She could have praised Solomon directly, privately. By praising him and his followers openly, she made lots of people happy, rather than just one. Smart.

For two months or more, Sheba had listened to Solomon’s powerful, God-soaked wisdom. We’re seeing the fruit of it in this verse: honest praise, genuine encouragement.

The Lord calls, equips, and empowers us to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Though it might be easier to say nothing, how much better to say something. To get our focus off ourselves and on others. To look for ways to lift up rather than tear down. To whisper words from God and bring refreshment to a parched soul.

I see you, nodding your head. You get this. You do this. God bless you for sharing your gift!

Suppose I answer one of our Study Guide questions? Then I hope you’ll do the same. We’re on this journey together, beloved.

2 Corinthians 13:11

From the Study Guide

2. c. When and how did someone offer you genuine encouragement that provided a strong foundation on which you could build?

The first time I shared my testimony on Thanksgiving Eve 1982, I was not a public speaker, so my nerves were a wreck. Couldn’t eat, sleep, think. Was such a new believer, I wasn’t entirely sure what a testimony was.

Still, my pastor, Bob Russell, invited me, believed in me, and trusted me. My knees were unsteady as I climbed the few steps to the platform and turned to face the audience. All at once, a sense of peace washed over me. Five minutes later, when I returned to my seat, still trembling, Bob leaned over and said, “I believe this is what God is calling you to do.”

“No way!” I whispered back. “I haven’t eaten in three days!”

Clearly, that problem has been solved (smile). I’m also certain the Lord spoke directly through Bob that day to encourage me, because I haven’t stopped speaking since!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for pouring out words of encouragement through Your children to bless others. Help us never hold back, worrying about what people will think or how they’ll react. Give us the courage to take the risk and speak up. May it never be about making us look good, but about making Your goodness shine in a world full of darkness and discouragement. Remind us everywhere we go, everyone needs a word from You.

"Encourage one another daily..." Hebrews 3:13

Now, it’s your turn

Is encouraging people one of your natural or spiritual gifts, or is that something you would like God to help you with? Thanks for sharing your thoughts below!

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

Wallpaper "It's Good to Encourage Others"P.S. Hop over to Vimeo for my brief, free video teaching on Chapter Six. Here’s this week’s wallpaper for your smart phone or tablet (isn’t the lavender delicious?). And, if you follow me on Facebook, I’ll be celebrating the beauty of October with a favorite autumn photo and quote every morning!

Ohhh, October!

36 Responses to Say Something Nice

  1. Renette Steele September 30, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    I believe one of my gifts is being a good cheerleader for others. for myself not so much.

    • Gina October 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      Same problem sister…..gotta really learn to be kind to myself….but here’s one for you….you sound like a Barnabas….thanks for giving it out! Gina

  2. Lisa September 30, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    What a great post today! I love to encourage people too. It makes me feel as good as it does the recipient. I have to say I like and need a little encouragement myself once in a while. Going through a rough patch right now! My husband is ill, I have fibromyalgia and our finances are so out of whack. We had run out of groceries and money a few days ago, and we’re going to have to wait until today.. (payday) to eat! My daughter “just happened” to be the winner of a $25 Visa card and thought we might need some help! it had to be Devine intervention. I believe God orchestrated the whole thing!

    • Gina October 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

      Because he loves you Lisa, he has his eye on you. According to your faith so be it…..and you must be a woman of faith because you got what you needed. I pray that God will continue to meet your every need! Gina

  3. Laurel Shaler September 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    I love the reminder to be kind. I try to always speak out loud the kind thoughts I have about someone else. If we just let people know that we appreciate them and that they are “worth it”…what a change we can make in the world. As far as being encouraged myself, I have been blessed many times by encouragement. I recently shared a blog post that was more vulnerable and, really, private than anything I had written before. I was feeling insecure about putting it out there, and the very first person that shared the post is a seminary grad and pastor’s wife…her simple act of sharing words that resonated with her gave me confidence that the Holy Spirit did lead me to share this difficult post. Interestingly enough, a couple of weeks after sharing the post, I was feeling insecure (yes, again…do we ever learn?) about it and “out of the blue” another friend texted me to say, “I mean to tell you that I loved your post about x, y, z.” WOW! What amazing timing. Thankful for obedient friends who encouraged me simply as a result of that obedience.

    • Gina October 1, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      I love people who are not afraid to be open…it actually makes me feel more secure. God bless you sister….keep on posting with honesty and sincerity. I know God will use it! Gina

  4. Paula Timpson September 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Believe in each other
    Trust His ways
    Let go and love each other
    fully by heart and encourage by prayer

  5. Marsha Numerich September 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    Is encouraging people one of your natural or spiritual gifts, or is that something you would like God to help you with?

    Encouragement is certainly one of my spiritual gifts. God has given me eyes to see and discernment to know where others are spiritually, emotionally. He gives me the words to speak and the ears to truly listen and hear what others are saying.

    It is such a joy to see others faces light up when they know that you really do understand and you are willing to take the time to be with them – where they are- and encourage them from that point.

    • Gina October 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      It’s wonderful that you’re using your gift to bless others. God has given me the gift of discernment as well. Usually what I then do with this divine information is to try to find a solution (being a problem solver). It think it’s better to encourage….God bless! Gina

  6. Linda Weems September 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Love this post today it is great! I do love to encourage people just seeing how they feel when you say a good word to them.Also I have found that I myself also feel so good in my spirit when I help someone else.I just praise God for moving in me and using me!God Bless and thank you for your posts .they sure encourage me!

  7. Annetta September 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Who doesn’t love a compliment or a word of encouragement? The answer to that keeps me on the lookout for people to express appreciation to, to give a compliment to, to give a smile to. As marriage mentors one of our activities for our couples is to DAILY give each other a compliment. What a difference a word of encouragement or a compliment makes. To see someone’s demeanor change is such a blessing.

  8. Margaret Vintin September 30, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Words of affirmation, not my first Love Language, but have been working on it. Just noticing things and remembering to say them, it’s amazing the effects 🙂 and it’s good to use them if you’re managing people through to your own marriage

  9. Rebecca sandoval September 30, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Thank you, I really loved this devotional. Some days as I walk through it feels like every word I hear is negative or critical and I have to admit it drives me crazy! I want to go around saying God is good, all the time. This was also so practical, I like the steps and am challenged to do this more.

  10. Diana September 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    What a Wonderful word this morning, thank you!

    I am loving your blog, I can hear your love that oozes out of each typed story.

    You make me smile, and I do not always comment, but I do take your words and think upon them and see how to apply the lesson to my heart.

    Thank you for generously allowing our comments to be apart of your life story! I am so grateful to have you feeding into my life!

    God Bless you!

  11. Brandi Luiz September 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    It is definitely a spiritual gift of mine. Nothing makes me happier than making someone smile.

  12. Cheryl September 30, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    Today I planned to encourage homeless women, but they often encourage me more. Praying for Tarah who was scheduled for a job interview today. She is really trying to change her life. Sometimes I get discouraged that my efforts are not making a difference. Her efforts encourage me. And I know God has a plan for both of us.

  13. J September 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Yes! Yes! Encouragement, or verbal affirmation if we are talking love languages, is my mega, super gift. I love giving out encouragement. It’s like handing someone an unlooked for bouquet of of aromatic and cheerful flower blossoms. (And we all should know that flowers are a necessity, not a luxury.)
    I am learning to give myself encouragement and compassion, but that is the tougher lesson, for sure. But hey, if I am in Christ and He in me, I have His mercies and compassion at the ready anytime. I just need to tell the truth to my heart and allow the Holy Spirit to give out the bouquets.
    Thank you, Liz. You give me reminders and insights and always a smile or chuckle and best of all y challenge with those moments of: “Hmmmm… I had not considered that idea.” Or, “Now what does that mean?” Teaching is your mega, super gift among many others. A million thanks and Lord bless you!

  14. Gina September 30, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    I like to think of myself as analytical, not critical…but I tend to see what’s wrong with something instead of what’s right. This causes me to have difficulty expressing genuine compliments. Yes, encouragement is a gift of the Holy Spirit. In fact, so is everything else that is good. Because, like the bible says, there’s nothing good in us. We are fruit bearers-that’s all. So, in the natural, compliments are not going to come from me at all. Lastly, my mom was not big on handing out the compliments either. But, before she died she looked at me and said, you’re a kind loving person. It was a great time to say it, because I was feeling a little low on the self-esteem ladder. I’ll never forget those words. Gina

  15. Renette Steele September 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    When i was teaching i was in charge of the main bulletin board by our school office. i asked all the teachers to pick a teacher who had given them encouragement or help and make a flower and put that on it and a bible verse. add the name to the list and pass it on until ever teachers name had been done then took all those flowers and made a big bouquet on the bulletin board.
    this would be nice for a church staff as well.
    Spread some SONshine throw a few bouquets.

  16. Karla Tildahl September 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    I actuallly have an official “Encourager” button from Liz that I got many years ago when I was a women’s health center coordinator. Now I encourage older people through my volunteer Parish Nurse position at my church and also encourage people who I see at the free health clinic I helped start and work as nurse manager. I also encourage my friends when they are looking for help. Thanks Liz for helping me be an encourager!! 🙂

    • Gina October 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

      Thank you Karla for reminding me that encouragement is not just what you say, but what you do…..excellent post! Gina

  17. Aloaha Voth September 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    I was asked to be the encouragement lady by our women’s ministry director. My first thought was you have got to be kidding! Then I said yes! I really didn’t have a clue what to do. I prayed. Then as I was encouraging a young mother, she said, “you are such a godly woman. ” Her words encouraged me! That is just how God works! When we encourage others we will be encouraged.

  18. Carla Hamilton September 30, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

    Liz, I first saw you and heard you speak a long time ago at Callaway Gardens at a ladies retreat (at least I think that’s where it was). You met me as I was coming to the altar to pray. You told the Lord that you were thankful that you were a “large” lady so that you could minister to me more affectively. Your encouragement and prayer helped change my life! God used you big that day.
    I am a teacher now and I see students every day that need my encouragement. I try to build them up instead of tear them down. I feel like it is my duty and call from God to do so. What a difference I have seen it make! Thank you for your encouragement over the years through your writing and speaking. I am about to lead a group of women through Loved By God! I can hardly wait!

  19. Priscilla King September 30, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Hmm. Have I mentioned that this is a very nice web site?

  20. Shelley Wilburn September 30, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    I became an encourager the night God healed me of over forty years of depression, intimidation, and verbal abuse. Before, I couldn’t look at people. Now, I’m always looking for them. The first time I spoke about my healing was at a ladies retreat six hours from home in a place I was unfamiliar with. but after the first night, women kept coming up to me and I kept encouraging them! This is how God works. He gives us little Divine Appointments and the right words to say to each person we are to encourage. Every time I speak, I know the encouragement is about how God wants to do a work in people’s lives. It’s a huge love story we get to be part of!

  21. Elaine Steil October 1, 2015 at 6:57 am #

    Great reminder. I also am reminder of a book title many years ago and actually made it part of my life. Words that Heal words that Hurt.

  22. Agnes McElya Butler October 1, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    Bingo! You live what you write! Thanks for your encouragement. I was healed 16 years ago from aggressive breast cancer; this has given me many divine appointments to act as encourage. Tuesday my encouragement skills were pushed to the limit…My 51 year old niece was called to neurosurgeon’s office for pathology report of brain tumor removed from her brain 8 days earlier. Good news 100% removed, bad news cancer cells from tumor extremely aggressive. Tumors will continue to pop back up to grow more tumors! I am trusting Jeremiah 29:11 once again because this young woman is a strong witness of God’s love and grace; I know He has a plan for her and will continue to give me strength to be her encourager! Thanks Liz

    • Pia October 2, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      Praying for your niece Agnes! And for you in your role as her encourager. With God there are no coincidences, only God-instances!

  23. Linda H October 1, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    I have always loved reading and the written word. I love to write words of encouragement to people and include scripture. I send many cards to those I feel need to hear they are loved! I heard recently that we should also encourage ourself instead of talking down about us. Encouragement is truly an amazing gift spiritually or natural. It takes away the negativity of this world!!!

  24. Jeanette Webber October 1, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    Your presentation at the AACC Conference last week was so encouraging & timely. Thank you for being a deep cup of refreshing in the middle of very intense classes – with people who have given their lives to help people walking in very troubled places. Be encouraged, encourager! YOU are deeply appreciated.

  25. Laura Bennet October 1, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    A blogging friend just sent me an email telling me she felt led to pray for me which she did. She also sent some verses. Our family is going through a particularly rough time after an auto accident and that email and those verses were words from God to me! Encouragement is so vital to how we get through every day. Thanks, Liz for this great reminder, and for the way your words and joy both in speaking and writing encourages us!

  26. Sherri October 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, and I find great joy in using it to help others see their way past obstacles or just to give a kind word. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that words are not the only means of encouragement and have found ways to use gifts, hugs, and sitting in silence with the one suffering to bring encouragement. How creative is our God to give us multiple ways to express encouragement to the Body!

  27. Regina Gibson October 6, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    Yes, God has called me to be an encouragement to others, which I struggle with. I feel like I need lots of encouragement myself but God keeps giving me encouraging things to say to others and to write on my blog. I struggle with, does it really matter. But if I don’t do it I feel bad. In writing this I am discovering that God has called me to do this and when I don’t I am actually grieving the Holy Spirit. Wow, I needed this today.

  28. Colette October 11, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    I love to make people feel good about themselves. I never looked at it as a spiritual gift. Thank you for making me see that I do have this gift.?

  29. Karen Alexander October 30, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    I love your gifts!!! You are blessed by God!!! Thank you for helping me see I am blessed too!!!

  30. Mary October 30, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for these wonderful insights. God bless you abundantly!