Thursday: 16th May, 2019

1st reading : Acts 13:13-25

Acts 13:15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue leaders sent word to them: “Brothers, if you have a word of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

‘If anyone can show just cause why this couple cannot lawfully be joined together in matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace”. That is the one moment in some wedding celebrations when everyone holds their breath as if in anticipation for a dramatic moment like we see in the movies.

The invitation to speak is however limited to the existence of a just cause, in the absence of which silence is demanded. In the Acts of the Apostles, an invitation was thrown to Paul and his company to say something after the reading of the law and prophets. While it seemed an open ended invitation, like that of a minister’s words at a wedding, they could only speak words of encouragement.

Yet, I am not surprised that even then, there was a requirement for speaking because in our time too, there is so much negativity and discouragement that at some point you want to put up a banner that says ‘If you cannot encourage, then please say nothing’. Our world needs seeds of approval, the people around us need us to recognise their potential. Come to think of it, maybe its about time we made encouragement a requirement.

Not that we should expect to be cheered on even as we walk into fire, but to be encouraged when we put in effort, to be appreciated when we try and to be exhorted when we are down and consider the thought of giving up.
One word of encouragement can change the course of a person’s life so don’t hold those words back.

Remember# Your thoughts will neither encourage nor bless anyone, but your words will.


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