Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surrendering to a Life of Love and Encouragement

As I sat in church, I glanced across the aisle and saw Jeannette sitting with her family. As usual her countenance was cheerful and friendly.Although I have known her for years we have never been close friends. Even so, I have known Jeannette to be a woman of noble character, a woman after God’s own heart.

Every time I see her, my mind flashes back to a time when I asked her to critique one of my Christian talks. She was someone whose life reflected the love of God so I valued her input.
In her usual loving, kind and respectful way, she let me know that she could not offer her critique. As someone who had traveled with the Dale Carnegie Organization years earlier she had applied the principle of encouragement to her life. She was not comfortable being a critic even if it was solicited.

She seemed so sincere but I wondered if my message was lousy and she wasn’t comfortable telling me. As we continued to talk I realized it wasn’t about me. She truly could not offer a critique that would discourage anyone.

God’s Word says, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6)

Years later, I can’t recall hearing Jeannette speak an unkind word to anyone or about anyone. Although the Dale Carnegie Organization is a reputable organization I know that it is not this company’s principles that have caused Jeannette to live her life set apart as an encourager.

As a follower of Christ, Jeannette’s life reflects the love and grace the Lord pours into a life whose heart is fully committed to Him. The Lord changes our lives from the inside out when we surrender our life into the Lord’s hands.

In 1907 Adelaide Pollard pinned the words to the old hymn, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord”. The words from the first verse, “Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, While I an waiting, yielded and still,” resonated in my mind.

Jeannette’s beauty was a reflection of the Lord’s love flowing from a woman yielded to the Lord. Her words of love and encouragement revealed what was in her heart.


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