Pastor's wife: 'We can throw kindness around like confetti'


This week, we are marking the fourth anniversary of my mom being with Jesus.  I’ve been reminiscing and pondering all the good things about her.  She was an amazing encourager.  She used her words for good and the good of others. 

Don’t ever take your words for granted.

Many times, we tell kids — and even adults — to “use your words.”  That means we need them to communicate what they are upset about or what they need. My beloved says it to me sometimes, too.

God tells us in His Word to use our words in a good way.  In I Thessalonians 5:11, we’re instructed, “Encourage one another and build each other up.”  In this day and time, an encouraging word can change someone’s day, put a spring in a feller’s step, bring a smile to a face.  Also, in this day and time, building others up might be as fresh as a spring rain watering a dry and withered soul.

Hebrews 10:24 gives good direction on encouragement: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on…”  I love the phrase “spur on.”  Synonyms for that are: encourage, inspire, motivate, buoy, and cheer.  I really like “buoy,” too.  Have you ever been buoyed by an encouraging word?  Proverbs 16:24 sounds like that: “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”  Definitely “buoyed.”

As followers of Jesus, let’s look for ways to encourage, inspire, motivate, buoy, and cheer those around us.  Let’s see people like Jesus did.  Matthew 9:36 tells us He was surrounded by a mob, yet He still had compassion for them.  They were helpless and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd.

May I add Ephesians 4:29 to the point of using your words for good?  Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Unwholesome talk might not be filthy language, but hurtful words.  Sounds like the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

The goal is found in Hebrews 3:13: “Encourage one another daily…”  One person every day makes 366 in 2024.  (It’s leap year.)  And there’s no age limit mentioned.  Whether you are 7, 27, 57, or 107.

Bill Pistore, at 87 years old, is still using his words for good.  He recently said he wanted to make sure people who encouraged others are also encouraged.  I like that idea.

February is the month of love.  What if, instead of chocolates, we dished out kind words?  From Gas ‘N Go, Goodwill, to the local restaurant, we can be kind to those we meet.  We can throw kindness around like confetti, treating others like they were truly made in the image of the Creator.  People need a kind word.  Do we have one for them?

Use your words for good.  My mom did that everywhere she went — and online if she stayed home.  I miss her and look forward to seeing her in heaven.  Til then, I have her good example to follow.

Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at