The Whisper Test

1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up” (ESV)

Today’s Thought
This week I’m suggesting practical things we can do to love one another.

On Tuesday I talked about the importance of taking your own sin seriously. (You can review it here.) On Wednesday I talked about listening before talking. (And you can review that one here.)

Here’s suggestion #3: Use words that encourage.

Remember that playground chant? “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”? Yup, it’s a 100% lie! All of us know that words can injure deeply… the lie, the flippant gossip, the put down.

But the opposite is also true. Words have springboard power to launch light into the night of darkness.

A girl who we’ll call Stacey was born “differently.” Her nose wasn’t like the other kids. Her mouth wasn’t “normal.” She had a hard time pronouncing words. Whenever she met a new kid at school they asked her what had happened to her.

Over time, Stacey started to think that no one wanted her.

But one year, in second grade, she found herself in Mrs. Leonard’s class. She was a teacher with a heart of gold.

One of the things she did was have an annual hearing test. Kids would line up one by one. A child would stand against the door, and Mrs. Leonard would whisper something from her desk. She would say things like “The sky is blue” or “Do you have new shoes?”, and the kids would try to repeat it back to her.

When it was Stacey’s turn she got ready to listen. Mrs. Leonard looked at her and whispered:

“I wish you were my little girl.”

Stacey beamed. And filled with light. And happiness.

Do you want to know how to love one another? Remember the power of words—not only to hurt, but to heal. Big time.

Today, use words that encourage.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s story is from the book The Whisper Test as told by John Ortberg in Life Changing Love.

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