Joel Osteen — Healing Words
I want to talk to you today about healing words. Our words have the power to lift people, to help them get through a challenge, to push them into their destinies. When you tell someone, "I love you. I'm proud of you. You did great on that project". You're not just being kind. Those are healing words.
We don't know what people are going through. They may smile on the outside, but on the inside, they're hurting, they're lonely, they're discouraged. Many people have wounds from the past, wounds from a relationship that didn't work out, wounds from people trying to push them down, and just a simple word of encouragement, "I believe in you, I'm praying for you," a simple compliment, "You look beautiful today," it's no big deal to you, but to them, it's helping heal the wounds. It's lifting their spirits. It's causing them to believe in themselves.
Your words can be what keeps them moving forward, and God puts people in our lives on purpose so we can bring healing. The security guard at the office, don't just pass by him every day for the next 20 years. Take a moment to bless him with your words. You don't have to spend 10 minutes, just a simple, "Great to see you today. I appreciate you taking care of us". You just spoke a blessing over his life, and letting people know that you care does more than you imagine because we live in a society that's filled with a lot of negative chatter through the internet, social media. It's becoming normal to be disrespectful. People think nothing of being condescending, saying hurtful, critical things. More than ever, people need your healing words.
You have the power to put someone on their feet. You have the power to keep them from falling into depression. You have the power to cause them to pursue their dreams. When somebody does something good for me, when they're kind, I'm grateful, of course, I tell them, "Thank you". But when somebody does something good for my children, when they go out of their way to help them in a time of need, as a parent, there's nothing I won't do for them.
That's the way God is when you go out of your way to bless one of his children. When you make it your business to encourage the co-worker that's down, when you stop by to see the friend that's not feeling well, when you call your relative just to say that you love them, because you're taking care of his children, God will make sure somebody is always there to take care of you, to bring healing, to bring encouragement, to show you favor. Those are seeds that you're sowing, and look around at who's in your life, the clerk at the grocery store, the attendant at the gas station, the friend at the gym. They're not there by accident. They need what you have. They need encouragement. They need affirmation. They need to know that you believe in them.
Don't keep the healing to yourself. Be free with your compliments. When I see Victoria, many times I think, "She is so beautiful". But it's easy for me to think, "She knows she's beautiful. People have been telling her she's beautiful her whole life. I told her last week she's beautiful. She doesn't need to hear it again". I've learned, even though she knows it, tell her anyway. Do you know, she has never once said to me, "Joel, quit telling me I'm beautiful. I know I'm beautiful. My parents told me as a child".
No matter how many times you've complimented a person, when that thought comes up, tell them again. That's God bringing it up. You don't know what they're going through. You don't know the battles they're fighting, the people trying to push them down. God wouldn't have brought it up if he didn't want you to tell them. These days, it's easier than ever. If they're not there in person, you can send them a text, "Hey, I want you to know I love you and I think you're beautiful".
The scripture says, "A gentle tongue brings healing," and when we think of healing, many times we think of praying for people for healing, and yes, that's one way. But what I want us to see is your words have healing. When you're kind, when you're encouraging. When you don't just think something good, but you verbalize it, you're being a healer, and it's amazing what one kind word can do. We don't think anything about it but to that other person it breathes life into their spirit.
A few years ago, Victoria was walking down the hallway after a service. There were hundreds of people in the hallways, very crowded. The young lady came passing by going the other direction. Victoria happened to notice her. She stopped her and said, "You are so beautiful". Just a 5-second conversation, and they moved on, no big deal, and it seemed like that Victoria was just being nice, just being kind. But God wouldn't have given you that compliment. He wouldn't have put that thought in you if the other person didn't need it. You may not know them. It may not make sense to you, but God knows what he's doing. There's a reason they need your healing.
If you saw someone that was sick, they were fighting an illness, and you had the cure, you had the medicine that would cause them to get well, you would be quick to get it to them. You'd go over as fast as you could, "Here, take this right now. I don't want you to suffer anymore". That's the way you need to see your compliments, your kind words, your encouragement. It's the healing that people need. Don't withhold it. Don't try to reason it out. "Well, they look like they're doing fine, Joel. They don't need my encouragement". You're looking on the outside. You don't know what's happening on the inside. I've learned everyone is going through something. Even the people that look like they have it all together, that are so happy, so blessed, so strong, can I tell you, they don't have it all together. There's always something that they're dealing with.
Couple of months later, this young lady showed up in the visitors' reception. She said to me, "Victoria will never know what she did for me that day". She told how she had gone through a bitter divorce. She felt so unattractive, so beaten down. Every voice told her she wasn't worth anything, that she would never love again. She said, "When Victoria looked me in the eyes and said, 'you are so beautiful,' it was like strongholds were broken in my mind". All of the sudden, that depression lifted off of her. She had a new perspective. She realized, "I'm still beautiful. I'm still a child of the most high God. I'm still fearfully and wonderfully made". For the next couple of months, any time she was tempted to be discouraged, she would replay that phrase over and over, "You are so beautiful".
We don't understand the power of a simple compliment, the power of, "I believe in you. You're going to make it. Great things are in store". Victoria thought she was just being kind. She didn't realize there were healing in her words. God had already ordained those words to help push that young lady past the hurts, past the injustice, into the new beginning that God had in store, and your words may seem ordinary to you. But when God breathes on them, they become extraordinary to the other person.
Somebody today needs your healing words. Somebody won't get past the depression without you speaking blessings over them. Somebody will give up on a dream. They'll get talked out of God's best unless you step up and encourage them. Will you be a healer? Will you use your words to lift people? Proverbs 18 says: "Our words can be life-giving water," and I've found people are thirsty. They've gone through heartaches. They've been beaten down in life. We have something to offer them. Our words can help heal the hurts. Be aware of who's in your life. Be sensitive to what you're feeling down in here. Take time to let people know that you care.
In my early 20s, a young man started coming up to the gym to play basketball with us. He was a loner. He was very unfriendly, very cold. He never talked. Even during the games, he wouldn't interact with us, and most of the guys just ignored him, but something down in here told me to reach out to him and make him feel welcome. I found out that his name was Bo, and when he would come into the gym, I would go over and say, "Hey, Bo, it's great to see you today". He never said anything. He just hit his chest twice and walked away. I didn't know what that meant, but I hit my chest twice and walked away. This went on for several years. I saw him four or five times a week.
Well, I stopped playing basketball there, and I hadn't seen Bo in over 20 years. One sunday, he showed up at church. I saw him afterwards. I thought, "Where do I know this guy from"? He said, "I'm Bo, we used to play basketball together". That's the most I'd ever heard him talk. He went on to tell how he grew up in the projects. At 14, he started living on his own. Nobody wanted him. He never felt loved or accepted. He said, "One of the main reasons I went up to the gym was to hear you say, 'great to see you today,' because nobody had told me that they were glad to see me".
I didn't know it at the time, but Bo was thirsty. Those simple words, letting him know that I cared, were like life-giving water. Today, Bo is married. He introduced me to his children. He's setting a new standard for his family.
What am I saying? Nobody is in your life by accident. Don't ignore what you feel on the inside, that compassion to encourage them, that desire to be their friend. They're thirsty, you have the water. Take time to make them feel loved. Doesn't have to be something big. Just, "Good to see you. I believe in you. I'm praying for you". Just let them know that you care. We're so busy these days. We've got our own challenges. If we're not careful, we'll pass right by the thirsty people. There's no greater feeling than to give them water. Nothing is more rewarding than to help someone else rise higher, and when we come to the end of life, we can be known for a lot of things. We were successful in our career. "Joel had a big church. She was talented. They lived in a nice place". That's all good, nothing wrong with that, but I'd rather people say about me, "Joel was a healer. He lifted me when I was down. He encouraged me when I felt stuck. He told me I could accomplish dreams that I never thought I could accomplish".
Where are the healers? Where are the lifters? There are enough people saying negative, critical, judgmental words. Our attitude should be, "Who can I bless today? Who can I help heal? Who can I make feel better about themselves"? Why don't you start with your own family? How long has it been since you've told the people in your life, "I love you, I'm glad you're mine"? Don't let a stranger compliment your spouse more than you do. Don't let a coach, a teacher, a friend make your children feel more special than you do. Every day, bless your children with your words. Tell them how proud you are of them. Tell them what they can become. Call out their seeds of greatness. Remind them that they're made in the image of almighty God, that they are full of potential, that they're supposed to go further than you, that the anointing is increasing with each generation.
They have so much to deal with these days, the social chatter, and all the bullying, the hurtful words. But when you tell your child, "I love you, I'm blessed to have you as my child," that's not only helping to heal the wounds, but that's protecting them. That's what causes those hurtful words to bounce off of them, and the more people speak negative over you and your family, your friends, the more you need to speak these positive, faith-filled healing words.
Growing up, in our family, there were five of us children, and when it was one of our birthdays, my mother had a special tradition. At dinnertime, we all had to say one good thing about the person that was having a birthday. I didn't like doing that. I wasn't used to expressing my feelings, especially when it was my brother Paul's birthday, and took me 30 minutes to think of something good, but I thought, "Mama, they know I love them. They know they're special. They know they're beautiful". But my thoughts weren't blessing anybody. My thoughts weren't bringing healing.
I realize now my parents weren't just doing that to make the birthday person feel special. That was one reason. But they were teaching us the importance of speaking the blessing, of verbalizing what we liked, of being free with our compliments. I wouldn't be standing here without all the people that have spoken the blessing over my life. So many people have told me I could do things I never dreamed I could do.
I had a coach my freshman year of high school. I was very small, about 6 inches shorter than average. They called me, "Peanut," and I was on the... hey, don't laugh. I was on the basketball team, and of course, in high school, there were a lot more kids than junior high. It was a lot more competitive. I was a little intimidated, thinking, "How am I going to play basketball with all these bigger guys?," and one day, I was walking down the hallway at school with some of my friends on the basketball team. My coach called me over. He was a big, tough guy. He said, "Hey, peanut, come over here". That didn't make me feel too confident. He called me, "Peanut," too. All my friends were standing around watching. He leaned down to my level. He said, "Listen here, peanut, you may be small, but you have a big heart, and you're going to do great this year. In fact, you're going to be my starting point guard".
When he said that, I felt 10 feet tall. I went out and played like I was Michael Jordan. I'm white, I still can't jump, but I'm fast. But my coach, he didn't have to say that. He could've just thought it, or he could've told me in private. But when you compliment someone in front of people, it carries more weight, it's magnified, and yes, there are times you need to do it in private, but when you can, speak a blessing in public.
After all, a lot of people don't have any problem saying negative things in front of people. Why don't you spread some good things about the people you love? Use your words to help push them into their destinies, to encourage them to pursue their dreams, to let them know that you believe in them. Many times, you can see things in people that they can't see in themselves. Your blessing, your encouragement can be what causes them to step up to who they were created to be, and your destiny is connected to the people God's put in your life. If you're going to reach your full potential, this is not an option.
Look around, who can you bless? Who can you help heal? Who can you show favor to? "Well, Joel, as soon as my husband starts doing what I want him to do, then I'll start encouraging him, then I'll compliment him". Here's a key. If you'll quit nagging him for what he's doing wrong and start praising him for what he's doing right, then he'll begin to change.
People respond to praise, not criticism, not being nagged, not being berated. The scripture even says, "It is better to live in the desert than with a nagging wife". Can I expand it? A nagging husband, a nagging friend, a nagging neighbor. Don't be a nagger. Nobody wants to be around somebody that's always harping on them, pointing out what's wrong, finding fault.
I heard a saying, "Some people are like clouds. When they disappear, it's a beautiful day". We should be so full of encouragement, so full of compliments that people want to be around us. They're glad to see us coming, not turn around and head off toward the desert. Ladies, instead of nagging your husband, "Why don't you mow the lawn? Can't you see how high the grass is"? Next time, try a different approach. When you see him out there mowing it, tell him how strong he is, how muscular he looks, and, "What a great physique you have. You are so handsome". You brag on him like that, he'll mow the lawn every day. Praise, encouragement, honor, that's what people respond to.
A man opened his front door one morning and was about to go out and get his newspaper, but the dog from across the street was sitting on his front porch with his newspaper in his mouth. The man was pleasantly surprised. He didn't have to walk out to the curb to get it. He started petting the dog and praising him. He even went in and got a treat, came back and brought it to the dog. The next morning, the man opened his front door, and there were eight newspapers on his front porch. The dog had gone from house to house, picking up the different newspapers.
Like that animal, we respond to praise. I have these friends that have been coming to Lakewood my whole life since it started. They're my parents' age, and they've always been very supportive, and they used to sit on the front row during the early service. Before the wife went to be with the Lord, after our prayer time, I would always go over, give her a hug, and tell her that I loved her. She would always tell me how proud she was of me and how handsome I was, and anytime I saw her, I made sure to go say hi. She thought I was just coming over to tell her I loved her. She didn't realize I was coming to see if I was still handsome.
Later in life, she was way up in her 80s, she started having some dementia and wasn't real clear in all of her thinking. Didn't matter to me. As long as she told me I was handsome, I knew she was okay.
What am I saying? Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs somebody that's cheering them on, somebody that sees the best. Somebody that tells you, "You're still handsome". You can be that person for the people in your life. You can be the one they count on, the one that doesn't find fault, the one that has healing words, words that uplift, words that encourage. If there are no compliments in your home, no praise, no encouragement, if it's all nagging, "Why don't you do better"? That other person is not going to want to come home. The reason I went to see my friend every time she was there is because she lifted me. She fueled me. She made me want to do better. Why don't you start doing that in your home? You can change the atmosphere. You can bring healing to a relationship.
It starts with your words, by blessing your spouse, blessing your children, complimenting them, "I love you. I'm proud of you. I'm glad you're in my life". Compliments are the glue that hold a relationship together. They have enough people already pushing them down. The accuser's already telling them everything they're not. Why don't you use your words to build them up, to tell them what they can become, to make them feel better about themselves?
My mother had polio when she was a child. She had to wear braces on her legs. Now one leg is much smaller than the other, and for years, she was very self-conscious about it. She tried to cover them up and wear clothes that would hide them. But in her early 30s, not long after she married my father, a guest minister was coming to speak at the church. This man's always positive and uplifting, and my mother was walking in front of him. He turned to my father and said, "John, look at Dodie. She walks like a princess".
Up to that point, my mother had never heard anything good about how she walked. In fact, she was kind of embarrassed by it because she walks with a limp. She has to walk much slower. But when she heard him say that, it changed her whole attitude. She quit being embarrassed by it. She put her shoulders back, and started walking like she was royalty. That was over 40 years ago, and my mother remembers that like it was yesterday.
One compliment can have an impact for a lifetime. But what if that man would've just thought it and not said it? What if he'd have talked himself out of it? Maybe my mother would still be self-conscious.
Don't withhold your blessing, your encouragement, your compliments. That can be what causes them to step up to who they were created to be, and there are people in your life right now that need your healing. They need your blessing. They need your encouragement. They're thirsty, you have life-giving water. You can be the one that helps them walk like a princess for the next 40 years. You can be the one that reminds them that they're beautiful, and the chains of depression will be broken.
Look around this week. Live with the attitude, "Who can I bless? Who can I help heal? Who can I help push into their destiny"? If you'll develop this habit of speaking healing words, I believe and declare, you're not only going to help others rise higher, but those seeds are going to come back to you. God is going to cause you to rise higher. You're going to accomplish dreams, overcome obstacles, and become everything God's created you to be, in Jesus' name.