Read: Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 25:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I often don't know where a thought comes from as it pops into my mind. That was the case this morning. For no reason that I can discern, I thought of a gentleman who worked in a bank where I was employed decades ago. His name was Garland Binns, and though he doesn't come to mind often, I'll never forget his kindness, especially as it was expressed through his words. I was a typist, and I worked with two other ladies. We transcribed via disk, letters that came from the various heads of departments, vice presidents, and even the bank lawyer who was Mr. Binns. These were the words that I'll never forget: After each of his dictated letters, he said how much he appreciated our taking his dictation, and he said thank you. As many times as I typed from his dictation, I always anticipated those words of appreciation, and no matter the day's weariness, those words always made me smile. As I recall, he was the only person who spoke with such kindness and sincerity.
There was one incident that occurred that truly showed me that those words belonged to a person whose actions also pictured that same kindness. It involved something I typed for him that had an error. I need to pause here to say that not everyone displayed patience when an error was missed. In fact, some for whom we typed became angry; however, that was not the case with Garland Binns. He wasn't only understanding, he came to my desk and actually helped me correct the mistake. No one else ever did that, and he didn't act bothered or put out. His words matched his actions. The lawyer took his time to encourage the typist. What a day brightener for me. So, consider this to be a thank you note for Garland Binns' words. They never go out of style, and they are very much needed today, and they are a gift each of us can give, whether we are prominent in this world or not known at all.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we are told to encourage one another. There are lots of ways to accomplish that end, but for today, what if we did this by simply expressing sincere appreciation for someone the Lord puts in our paths. No cheap flattery here. No pretense. A real look into who we're talking to and an appreciation of what he brings to the table. If he already belongs to Jesus, He is indwelt with the same Holy Spirit as we are. If he does not yet belong to the Savior, Jesus bore his sins and wants him to know this.
In Colossians 3:12, God reminds us of our value in His eyes. Before we are told how to walk, we are reminded in the first part of the verse that we are dearly loved. As that truth continues to wash over us, we are able to allow God's love, including words of appreciation, to flow out of us into other lives. We're not trumping up feelings here; instead, we're letting the abundance of what Jesus has given us overflow into the lives of others.
In Proverbs 25:11, God shows us the beauty of words like those I received from Garland Binns. Sincere words of appreciation are like apples of gold in settings of silver. Isn't that a picture of beauty? What a simple way to bring joy into someone's day.
In Proverbs 16:24, God compares gracious words like those of affirmation to honey. Just yesterday, I enjoyed a blueberry corn muffin, topped with butter and honey. There was something refreshing about that bit of honey. It perked up the whole muffin. How good it is to speak words that have the potential to perk up a day. How do we know that those sweet words might be what a weary one might need as she walks through circumstances we will never know. That brings us to our final picture.
In Proverbs 12:25, we are reminded that those around us might be living with anxiety. Their smiles might not convey that at all. Many years ago, my husband knew a young man who always looked very put together. Nothing was ever out of place, and he wore a perpetual smile. Until one day. That was the day that he committed suicide. I don't tell that story to say that anything could have been done to aid this precious one. Instead, may we be reminded that we all need encouraging words which have the potential to bring blessing and strength, as Garland Binns' words did for me.
Lord, we rely on Your Holy Spirit to fill us up with Your love and give us words of appreciation to share with others. Help us see with Your eyes and speak with Your words.