« Day 23  |  Day 25 »

Day 24

Building Hope in Others with My Words

by René Schlaepfer

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

James S. Hewett writes about his son, who was using one of those super-adhesive glues on a model airplane: “In less than three minutes, his right index finger was bonded to a wing of his DC-10. He tried to free it. He tugged it, pulled, waved it frantically, but he couldn’t budge his finger free.” Eventually they found a solvent that freed his finger, and all was well. Then Hewett writes: “Last night I remembered that incident when I met a new family in our neighborhood. The father introduced his children: ‘This is Pete. He’s the clumsy one of the lot. That’s Kathy coming in with mud on her shoes. She’s the sloppy one. And, as always, Mike is last. He’ll be late for his own funeral, I promise you.’”

Hewett goes on to say, “That dad did a thorough job of gluing his children to their faults and mistakes. People do it to us all the time. They remind us of our failures, our errors, our sins, and they won’t let us live them down. Like my son trying frantically to free his finger from the plane, there are people who try, sometimes desperately, to free themselves from their past. They’d love a chance to begin again. When we don’t let people forget their past, we glue them to their mistakes and refuse to see them as more than something they have done. However, when we forgive, we gently pry the doer of the hurtful deed from the deed itself…”

Part of spreading hope to others is speaking encouraging words to them, words that build hope. This doesn’t mean you have to deny their faults; it means you reveal the truth about who they are, and what their potential is, in God’s eyes.

A few days ago, we saw, in Ephesians 1, how the Apostle Paul is doing just that for the Ephesians. We know from Revelation 2 that the Ephesian church was, at least eventually, task-oriented and loveless. Yet Paul does not label them; he does not say, “Dear Frozen Chosen.” He speaks words of hope. In today’s verse he does the same for the Corinthians, who were undisciplined and worldly: So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Today look for chances to build hope, not despair, into others with your words!

Question to Consider

What will I say to specific people in my life to build hope in them today?


Lord, thank You for the truths about me revealed in Your Word; help me to follow Paul’s example and gently encourage others, seeing them as new creations in Christ!