Paul spoke to the church regarding the need to encourage and motivate each other to do good. It is easy to be critical if you grew up in a harsh and judgemental environment. Some parents have a view that criticising their children will make them want to do well. The opposition is true and encouragement sweetens labour. Our words are important and constant criticism can negatively affect people’s self esteem and confidence. It is important to look for opportunities to offer praise and recognition when others do well.
The habit of being an encourager may take some practice, if this is not a natural trait for you. There are times when it is necessary to offer some constructive feedback. The aim should always be to help people to grow. It should never be just because we want to speak our minds. Before we speak, we have to ask ourselves; will this help the person hearing or will this serve my own need to be heard? Our motive is important and the purpose of our communication is what will determine how it is received. “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
Sarcasm and cynicism can be brutal and negative. The bible warns us that life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). If you constantly criticise your colleagues, coworkers, family members or clients, is it any wonder when they demonstrate the traits that you constantly talk about. If you believe that your words are powerful, then should you be more careful and intentional about what you say?
Honesty is important and it is also important that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).