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Daily Strength Blog

Job 36-37 Acts 15:22-41 • Key verse: 15:32
Can you finish this line from an old song: “Where seldom is heard…”? The answer is “a
discouraging word.” The song, “Home on the Range,” paints, a picture of an idyllic place where
even the words said are seldom discouraging.
If only song lyrics and reality matched! Far too often home, work, school and even church are
places where seldom is heard an encouraging word. We know how much we appreciate
encouraging words; the question to consider is if our own words are encouraging.
The early church had a problem. They met, discussed it and handed down a decision that was
then communicated to the churches by a hand-carried letter. It was sent with Paul and Barnabas,
who were, accompanied by Judas and Silas.
Sometimes problems in a church are due to decisions-—who makes them, how they are made or
what they are. This one had the potential of stirring the issue rather than set tling it. What tipped
the scales toward settling; it were the encouraging words that were spoken.
Luke called it an “encouraging message” (v. 31). Also, Judas and Silas “said much to encourage
and strengthen the brothers” (v. 32). The response of the church was to send off the brothers
“with the blessing of peace” (v. 33).
Instead of merely dismissing the difficulty, church leaders resolved it, with encouraging words,
and the church was strengthened and blessed. How that’s an encouraging word!
Think about the words you say, especially when there is a disagreement. Next time, use
encouraging words, ones that will build up, not tear down. Aim to not only settle the issue but to
do so in a way that strengthens those involved.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett

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