Wise Words, Abundant Hearts

Offering peace through blessing

by Tracy Hilts

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Thankfully, the fallacy of this adage has become clear. We know words do devastate, and we know words do bless. In healthy relationships, we choose our words wisely to avoid tearing down one another. We are also wise to cultivate healthy relationships by being intentional about building one another up with blessing!

To speak blessing is to offer a gift that’s meant to bring an abundance of peace to the deeper places of being.

I’m not sure when we began birthday blessings in my family, but it has become a cherished tradition at our celebrations. We put the person of honor in what some might call “the hot seat” but I call “the love seat.” Then the blessing begins. Someone may tell a story about a special experience with the beloved. Another may speak words of affirmation or share a picture of strengths and giftedness. Still another may offer encouragement and support to address a challenging experience in that person’s life. I look forward to watching and hearing my six children, who span sixteen years from oldest to youngest, sharing the pride and love they have for one another. Tissues and hugs are abundant.

To speak blessing is much more than speaking words of kindness. Blessing another imparts hope and encouragement, an invocation of God’s valuing and heart for another reaching to the spirit. To speak blessing is to offer a gift that’s meant to bring an abundance of peace to the deeper places of being.

The power of the spoken word is clear in the Bible itself from the opening story to the final verses. God could have used just a thought to bring creation into being. But instead God spoke to reveal physical reality. And God called it good. Then the first recorded words spoken between human beings were a blessing (Genesis 2:23).

My children, almost all adults now, have learned to give and receive words of blessing. And just as wonderful is that these incidents of intentional blessing have expanded beyond birthdays. My daughter, a middle school teacher, sits down with each student at some point in the semester for a time of blessing. I’ve overheard my high school-aged son sharing words of blessing with a struggling friend. They look for and recognize opportunities to impart God’s goodness to others in words.

Each of my six children now incorporates the practice of intentional blessing into the relationships of their lives. Even if it is as simple as “May God bless you today,” they deliberately invoke God’s heart for those around them. These encounters create an enduring, ongoing echo of Christ for the blessers and the blessed.

Literally the last thing Jesus did before and even while leaving the earth was to bless people! “Then he led them out as far as Bethany and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50–51).

May you both give and receive a heartfelt blessing of the goodness of God, encircled by God’s peace and overwhelmed by God’s gracious mercy.

Tagged under:

Share on: