When Cheryl Prewitt was four years old, she hung around her father’s small grocery store. Almost daily, the milkman would come into the store and greet her with the words, “How’s my little Miss America?” At first she giggled, but eventually she became comfortable with it… and even liked it a little. Soon the milkman’s greeting became a childhood fantasy… then a teenage dream. Finally, it became a goal… and in 1980, she stood on a stage and was crowned… Miss America.
The milkman probably never realized that his greeting to little Cheryl Prewitt would be taken seriously and one day become a reality.
In the same way, you may not realize that your words have power to influence people in a positive or a negative way. If we say encouraging things to other people, they will be more likely to live up to those words of encouragement. But if you cut someone down and say discouraging things, it may lead them to despair and negative behaviors.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,” wrote Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11. If you do, you will be giving someone a wonderful gift.