I got a chance to catch up with some old friends of mine this past weekend. We reminisced, caught up on our goings-on and those of our kids, and ate lots of pizza. It was great fun and left me wondering why, no matter how hard the scheduling logistics, we don't do this more often.

I was especially encouraged by a dear brother of mine in the faith, whose faith journey was so instrumental in my own decision to become a Christian. He has always been an encouraging sort, to me and to others, and he complimented me on something I had written to him earlier that year that was helpful to him. His words were genuine, specific, and positive, and I appreciated the boost to my morale.

Contrast that with my own words, which tend to be cynical (towards the world's systems) or deprecating (self or others). Even if intended to be funny and/or informative, they are often the opposite of my friend's encouraging words, if not in intent than in result. The juxtaposition at our get-together was too obvious for me to miss the lesson.

Here's hoping I can watch my tongue better, and use it more for building up than for cutting down. For words can do great good or great harm, so I ought to choose mine more carefully, and not only what proceeds from my mouth but what originates from my heart. As in my formative years in the faith, my encouraging friend has yet again set for me a useful example.
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