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Joel Osteen - Kind Words Work Wonders


Joel Osteen - Kind Words Work Wonders
TOPICS: Power of Words, Encouragement

I want to talk to you today about how Kind Words Work Wonders. When you say something kind: you give a compliment, you tell your spouse that you love them, you encourage your neighbor, it can seem like a simple thing, no big deal, but those words have incredible power. Proverbs 16:24 says, "Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body". You can make someone healthier by speaking kind words. Just a simple compliment, "You look beautiful today. You did great on that presentation", that's not just being nice, you're nourishing their soul. When you tell your spouse, "I love you. I'm blessed to have you in my life", that's not only going to keep your relationship stronger, but it's making the other person more secure, more confident, it's nourishing them. When you call the friend that's down, say "I'm thinking about you. I care about you. You mean the world to me", that's not just encouraging them, it's bringing healing to their body.

Don't miss opportunities to bring nourishment. The people around you need what you have. Your kind words can be what pushes them into their destiny. Your compliments, your encouragement, that's making them healthier, stronger, that's how they're going to become all they were created to be. Now, maybe you weren't raised like this with people saying nice things, telling your family you love them, giving compliments, you didn't see that model growing up. You can be the one to start it. Without your nourishment it will make it more difficult on your family, on your children. The reason some people aren't flourishing is no one is nourishing them, they never hear any compliments, any encouragement. But God created us to need each other. You have something that will cause your spouse to blossom, your children to bloom, your loved one to feel more secure. It's not your money, it's not your hard work, not your accomplishments, it's your kind words. They need to hear how much you love them, how much you believe in them, how great you think they are.

Don't let a day go by that you don't say something kind to the people God put in your life. It's not enough to just think it, your thoughts don't nourish anyone. A blessing is not a blessing until it's spoken. They need to hear it, "I love you. I'm proud of you. You're beautiful. You're going to do great things". Make it a habit of speaking kind words. These days it's more needed than ever. So many voices trying to push down, people saying harsh things, being rude, demeaning. They have no problem speaking their mind in a negative way, we need to be just as bold and speak our mind in a positive way. God is counting on us to be healers, to be lifters, to be encouragers. Let's make it our business to nourish people's souls, to bring healing and wholeness.

I've told Victoria thousands of times how beautiful she is. I realize she already knows that she's beautiful, people have been telling her that her whole life. Do you know what's funny? She's never once said, "Joel, stop telling me I'm beautiful". You know why we like to hear good things over and over? Because it's nourishing our soul, it's keeping us strong and healthy. I was growing up I would hear my parents tell me how proud they were of me again and again. Every night before bed, "Joel, we love you and we're proud of you". Those words brought confidence, security. Because they believed in me I believed in myself. There are people in your life, when they know you believe in them, they'll start believing in themselves in a new way. They need your validation, your encouragement, your blessing. That's what will push them into their destiny. This should start with your family. Don't take for granted the people that are closest to you. You may think, "Oh, they're strong, they don't need my blessing, they know I'm proud of them, they know they're beautiful". No, something happens when they hear you say it. Those kind words get down into their spirit, bring a new level of confidence, talent, boldness.

When I worked in the television department here at Lakewood, my father would bring guests by during the week. He would tell them, "You have to meet my son Joel. He's so talented, so much better looking than his brother Paul, he can produce television like nobody else". He would brag on me so much, I'd be embarrassed. But daddy knew the power of kind words. He didn't grow up with people encouraging him. He had loving parents, but they weren't vocal about their love. They expressed themselves when they saw something negative, something they were displeased with. And yes, we have to correct our children, but they shouldn't only hear what they're doing wrong, they need to hear words of affirmation, how valuable they are, how much you love them. Talk to them about what they're good at.

All those times my father bragged on me I may have acted like I didn't like it, the truth is I did like it. It made me believe in myself in a greater way. You have to call out the seeds of greatness in the people God put in your life. Most of the time that greatness won't come out on its own, they have to hear it again and again. My mother sent me a birthday card the other day, said "Joel, I am so proud of you and I know daddy would be so proud too". 88 years old and she's still speaking the blessing over her children. No wonder I've been able to go places I've never dreamed. I didn't think this was in me, but people around me kept calling it out, telling me what I could become. Their kind words nourished my soul, made me more confident, more secure, helped me to step into my destiny.

I wouldn't be half of who I am today without Victoria. She saw things in me that I couldn't see. Here's the key: she took time to tell me. She spoke words of faith, words of victory not once, but over and over. "Joel, you can do anything. You're amazing. You're so talented". One time we bought this old house, and had it torn down, we're going to build a new one. I called the builder we had used a couple of years earlier. He built a house we really like for us. She said, "Why are you calling him? We don't need a builder, you can build a house". I said, "Victoria, I'm not a builder. I don't know how to build a house". She said, "Sure you do. You just watched him build our last house, you're as smart as he is, you can build this house". I said, "Victoria, I had surgery on my knee, I watched the surgeon, but I can't do surgery". She said, "That's different". She talked me into it. I built the house, and it turned out pretty good. I forgot the plumbing, but other than that it was great.

Ten years before my father went to be with the Lord we would sit on the front row when daddy was up there ministering on Sunday nights. And Victoria would lean over and say, "Joel, one day you're going to pastor the church". I thought I have her so full. I may be able to build a house, but I cannot get up and speak in front of people. I would tell her, "There's no way". She'd say, "Yes, I can see it. I know you can do it". When my father passed, one reason I believe I was able to step up and pastor, even though I had never ministered is because I had heard Victoria tell me I could do it hundreds and hundreds of times. Those words nourished my soul, gave me confidence, brought talent out that I didn't know I had. How much further will the people that God put in your life go if you will speak kind words, if you will tell them what they can become, if you will call out their seeds of greatness? Thinking about it doesn't do them any good, speak it over them.

And here's a key: be generous with your compliments, and be stingy with your complaints. We can all focus on things we don't like about someone, how they don't measure up, how they should do better. Don't spend more time telling people what you don't like, what they can't do, then you do telling them what you do like, what they can do. You have the power to push them into their destiny. Many times you can see things in people that they can't see in themselves. Your kind words can be the seed that causes them to blossom. Because you spoke faith, you encourage, you lift it, they'll step into levels that they couldn't get to on their own. And there may be people in your life now you're kind of put out with, thinking, you know, "Why can't they be more disciplined? Why won't they go further"? Maybe all they need is some nourishment. Maybe your kind words, your encouragement is going to give them the strength, the confidence, the faith to rise up and blossom into who they were created to be.

We have this small plant in a pot on our back porch. We were out of town for a couple of weeks, and didn't water it. When we came back the plant was all wilted over, leaves were brown, dried up, looked like it was dead. I was about to take it to the trash. Victoria said, "No, Joel, it's not dead, just put some water in it". I thought, "Man, she has more faith than me", because there's nothing in this plant that looks alive. I watered it, the next morning the plant had stood up tall. I thought: this is a miracle, this is a resurrection. Two days later the leaves had turned green. A couple of weeks later there were beautiful flowers. The whole plant was blossoming, blooming, prettier than ever. I thought it was dead, all it needed was some nourishment.

And the reason some people are wilted, not blossoming, not reaching their potential is they're lacking nourishment, they need someone to speak life into them. You have what they need. If you'll encourage them, let them know that you believe in them, call out their seeds of greatness, just like this plan you'll see them come to life, gifts will come out that they didn't know they had, their passion will come back. Before long they'll be blossoming, blooming, stepping into new levels. It wasn't something they could do on their own, they needed what you have. Your kind words are nourishment to their soul.

This is not something that's complicated. Doesn't take a lot of time, in 20 seconds you can give a compliment, you can send a text, "I'm thinking about you. I appreciate your friendship. You're really amazing", you just nourished their soul, you just lightened their load, made their life a little easier. You don't know what people are going through. They may smile on the outside, everything seems fine, but on the inside they're hurting, they're trying to keep it together. One thing I've learned is: everyone is fighting a battle, everyone is dealing with something. They may not show it, but there's a load they're carrying, there are thoughts telling them how it's not going to work out, they're concerned about a child, worried about their health, struggling in their career.

If they were sick and we had the medicine, we had the cure, none of us would withhold it, we'd be quick to give it to them, we want to see them get better. What I'm saying is we have some medicine, we have something that will not only nourish their soul, soothe their emotions, calm their fears, but our kind words bring healing to the body. When you tell someone, "It's going to be okay, it's going to work out, God has you in the palm of his hand", that just made them stronger. Their immune system will function better. Their cells will work more efficiently. Their blood pressure will improve. All because you took time to be a healer.

Proverb 12:25 says, "A word of encouragement works wonders". We often pray for signs and wonders, and I believe in that, but what if some of those wonders are in our kind words? What if the miracle was in something simple: telling someone that they're going to make it, telling your spouse every day, "I love you", giving your co-worker, your friend the compliment, encouraging them. Don't discount the power of a kind word, it can work wonders.

My mother had polio as a child. One of her legs is much smaller than the other, she's always walked with a limp. That used to really bother her, she was self-conscious about it, thinking "People are looking at me, thinking what's wrong with you". She'd try to cover up the small leg, wearing longer dresses. One day a minister friend was speaking for us at the old church. He and my father were walking together, my mother was a few feet in front of them. He saw my mother walking, he turned to my father and said, "John, look at Dodie! She walks like a princess". My mother had never heard anything positive about how she walked, but when she heard that, it changed her whole perspective. She stopped being embarrassed by it, she started walking with confidence, knowing that she's made in the image of Almighty God. That was over 40 years ago, but she remembers it like it was yesterday.

One compliment, one kind word can have an impact for a lifetime. What if that minister would have just thought about it, never said it? Maybe my mother would still be bothered by it. But a word of encouragement works wonders. Your kind words can break strongholds in people's mind. Your encouragement can set their dreams into motion. Don't withhold the healing. Like my plant that needed water, it couldn't water itself, I had to step in. Someone needs your water. God is counting on us to bring the nourishment. You don't know how a simple act of kindness can impact a person. Seems ordinary to us, but to that person is something that will affect them for the good for years to come.

When I first started ministering, I was so insecure. I hadn't been trained to do this, I'm naturally more quiet and reserved, and all these thoughts said to me, "Nobody's going to listen to you, Joel. It's a big mistake. You better change your mind and go back behind the scenes". I was fighting all these internal battles, trying to keep moving forward, unsure of myself. One day about two months in, when I was at a critical point, I received a letter in the mail from a very well-known and well-respected minister and business leader. I'd never met him, I didn't know that he knew who I was.

I started reading the letter so nervously, not knowing what to expect. He said, "Joel, I want you to know, I've been watching you, and I can't tell you how great you're doing", listed all these things I was doing right, on and on, so encouraging, so uplifting. When he sent that letter he had no idea what I was fighting, he had no way of knowing what kind of impact it would have. But he took time to nourish my soul. He took time to let me know that he cared, that he was for me, that he believed in me. That letter was a big part of me moving forward pushing through the doubt, through the naysayers, through my own negative thoughts.

Proverbs 3:27 says, "When it's in your power, don't withhold the good". This has taught me to live my life as a healer, to be free with kind words, to lift people, to speak life to their dreams, to tell them what they can become. Several times a week when I'm at home, instead of watching television, I'll get my cell phone out and think, "Who can I encourage tonight? Who can I bless? Who can I nourish"? Like that man did for me, God will cause you to speak a word in due season. There are people all around us at work, the grocery store, the mall, the gym, they need nourishment. Life has pushed them down, they're trying to decide like I was, "Should I go back, give up on this dream, this marriage, this child"? They're starting to wilt, to dry up. The good news is: you have the water, you have the nourishment. Your kind words, your encouragement, your text, your compliment can be what causes them to come back to life.

"Well, Joel, I need someone to nourish me, man. I'm having challenges. I'm carrying a heavy load". The scripture (Proverbs 11:17) says, "Your own soul is nourished when you're kind". When you're kind to others, you're not only nourishing them, but you're being nourished, you're going to get stronger, you're going to get healthier, you're going to have more favor.

Isaiah 3:10 said, "Say to the righteous, all will be well with you". It didn't say, "Go pray for the righteous", although that's good, "Go tell the righteous how to get out of their problems", it simply says, "Say to the righteous it's going to work out. Everything's going to be okay". Just a word of encouragement, just let them know that you care, just remind them that God's still on the throne. You don't have to have all the answers. I used to be intimidated because sometimes the situation was so complicated, different people involved, there's been loss, I'm not sure what to tell them. I've learned, I don't have to solve the problem, that's God's job. My part is to just nourish their soul, just let them know, "I care about you. I'm standing with you. You're going to make it". Those kind words are what put people back on their feet.

Years ago, a minister friend of mine went through a tough time. He was accused of doing things that weren't true, people blew them out of proportion, and made it a really big deal. His ministry and reputation went down to nothing. He's a good man, he just made mistakes, got a little off course. It's easy to be judgmental, he knew better, it's his own fault, he's getting what he deserves. But a true friend doesn't run away when people are in trouble, you run to them, you pour oil on their wounds, you help them to get better. They have enough people pushing them down. Their own thoughts are making them feel badly enough. Why don't you be a healer? Why don't you use your words to nourish their soul? You can help love them back into wholeness.

The mercy we show others is the mercy God's going to show us. I don't want to be a condemner, a fault finder, "I told you so". I'm going to live my life as a healer. The scripture says the enemy is the accuser of the brethren. Anytime you're tempted to be harsh, judgmental, condemning - recognize, you're on the wrong side. I hadn't spoken to this friend in several months since all the news hit, and it was like the whole world had turned against him. I called him on his cell phone, he answered in the weakest, most faint voice you could imagine. I could barely hear him say, "Hello". He's a very outgoing, dynamic person. I told him how much I loved him, how this is not the end, and how God knows how to restore. The line went silent, could tell he was weeping. He said, "Joel, I don't have any fight left in me". I said, "That's okay, we're going to fight for you". I didn't have the solution, I didn't know how it's going to work out, but I let him know that God still had a purpose for him, that he was not finished, and then we're going to keep praying for him.

It was a five minute phone call. I couldn't tell it made any difference, but at least he knew that we cared. Two months later he called me, told how he had already made up his mind to get out of the ministry, he's going to formally resign and go do something else. But he said, "Joel, when I heard your voice that day, something came alive on the inside. I kept hearing what you told me that God still has a purpose for me". He quit dwelling on his failures, he quit listening to the accusing voices, got his passion back. Today he's back in the ministry stronger than ever, making a greater difference than before.

On your journey in life you're going to meet people like this, people that are wilted, life has thrown them a curve, they feel overwhelmed, people are judging them. God put them in your path so you can nourish them. Your kind words can put them back on their feet. They don't need more judgment, they need a healer, they need someone that will pour oil on the wounds. There are a lot of tears in our world today, a lot of heartache, a lot of pain. When we get to heaven, the scripture talks about how God will wipe away the tears, there will be no more tears, no more loss, no more pain. But while we're here on earth, God is counting on us to wipe away the tears, to lift the fallen, to nourish the wilted, to encourage those that are down. You can breathe life back into their spirits. Your kind words can set their dreams into motion. Your encouragement can be what causes them to step into their purpose.

I've read about a five-year-old little boy named Michael. His mother had just found out that she was pregnant with a little girl. He was so excited, he couldn't wait to see his little sister. All through the day Michael would come over to his mother's tummy, and sing to his baby sister, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine". Week after week, month after month hundreds of times he kept singing. The mother finally went into labor, there were complications with the delivery, she had to be rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section. Unfortunately, the baby didn't fare well. She was alive, but doctors told the parents there was very little chance she would survive.

The baby was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. All the while Michael kept asking, "When can I see my baby sister"? Several days went by, word came that the baby would probably not make it through the night. The mother knew if Michael didn't see his sister right away, he may not ever see her alive. When the head nurse wasn't watching, she snuck Michael into intensive care. He was taken aback by all the tubes, and monitors on his little sister. About that time the nurse saw Michael, told the mother that he had to leave right now. Without his mother saying a word, Michael started singing, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray". The nurse noticed, the baby's rapid breathing begin to slow down to normal. She looked at little Michael and said, "Keep singing".

As he stood there insane for a few minutes, the nurse watched in amazement as the baby's heart rate became normal, the blue color began to go away. Instead of being shaky and jittery, there was a calmness over the baby. It was like those words from a five-year-old boy were releasing healing and wholeness into his baby sister. Against all odds the baby got better, today she's perfectly healthy and whole.

Kind words work wonders. Are you using your healing powers? Are you nourishing anyone's souls? Don't let the day go by without encouraging someone, giving a compliment, telling your family that you love them. Develop the habit of speaking kind words. The scripture (Hebrews 3:13) says, "Encourage one another daily". This is not a one-time thing and you're done, this should be a lifestyle. Be on the lookout: who can I encourage today? Who can I text? Who can I call? There are people God has put in your path that need your nourishment. Remember, when you're kind to others, your own soul is nourished. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: as you help them, you're going to rise higher. New doors are going to open, healing will come, favor, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen?
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