Thought for the week

Thought for the Week provides a Verse, Thought and Prayer for the week ahead.  We trust you will find these helpful and encouraging in these times.

Verse for the week:

Romans 12:8

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.

Thought for the week:

There was a report in the Belfast Telegraph this week (I’m not making this up!) about a woman in Australia, by the name of An Gie Mcyen, who had “woken up from tonsil surgery to find she has what appears to be a Northern Ireland accent – despite never having been anywhere here”.

At first I thought this was quite funny, but then I read that this young woman appears to be suffering from a rare condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome. Some accused her of making up her condition, but she says that she has struggled over the past while to come to terms with the change in her accent. “Waking up with a foreign accent has neurological implications that should be taken seriously,” she rightly said.

I hope and pray that she may be blessed and, in time (soon) recover.

This got me thinking about the importance of the words we say, and the “accent(s)” we use when speaking. The Bible has a lot to say about how we should speak to each other:

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” [Proverbs 12:25]

 “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” [Proverbs 25:11]

 “….. blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” [James 3:10]  [and there are many more]

And I’ve often thought that some (most) Christians – and congregations – struggle when trying to share the Good News about Jesus in a language that someone who knows very little about God, or has never read the Bible, will understand

Paul wrote these words to the church at Corinth:

“And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.” [1 Corinthians 2:1]

And Peter wrote these words:

“and if someone asks you about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” [1 Peter 3:16-16]

Words are important (we couldn’t function without them!). But the way we speak is, perhaps, even more so. I pray for wisdom and grace from Father God that the words I say – especially when talking about faith and spiritual matters – may be gentle, respectful, encouraging …… God honouring.

May it be so – amen.

Prayer for the week:

Father God,

Your word is a light for my path, a lamp for my feet.

Your word is truth.

May I, in the power and gentleness of the Holy Spirit, and looking to Jesus as my example, speak words that clearly tell your truth, that show your compassionate and gracious nature, that encourage and build up your church.

And may your church be the bearer and example of your word in action.

I ask in Jesus’ name,

Amen.