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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

18 March 2015: Captain Linda Read, The Salvation Army Petersfield

Positive Speech

During the period of Lent many have been taking part in the '40acts DO LENT GENEROUSLY'. Some ideas suggested have been: talk to someone, clean up your neighbourhood, surprise someone, be on time, encourage and say thank you.

I have picked up on two of these for this article firstly encourage and then to say thank you.

Whilst out with a friend recently we past an elderly man sweeping sand and cigarette ends into a dust pan, these had blown against a wall. I commented to my friend that not many would do this job. We spoke about the 40acts and on our way back this man was still sweeping and as we walked by my friend said to him 'you are doing a brilliant job,' his response was 'thank you'. This surprised me but also made me think about the times I may have forgotten to say thank you to someone who encouraged me.

The ability to choose what we say to others is one of the most precious gifts God has given us, yet the human capacity to use speech to inflict pain is one of the most dangerous weapons we possess. There are various ways we can use encouraging words to "build each other up" including sharing thanks and appreciation, offering support, paying compliments and even giving written words of encouragement.

As you are reading this maybe there are people you can think of those who you need to say thank you to. It may be a member of your family, a friend, colleague, or a person who has helped, supported and encouraged you throughout your life.
Life is a journey and at times it's hard, frustrating and lonely. In the Bible we find words written by St Paul which reminds us to help each other 'Therefore encourage one another and build each other up...' 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

I challenge you to encourage or thank someone today

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