We’ve all been blessed with talents and abilities, but what really distinguishes one individual from another – even within the same family – is his/her unique temperament. Throughout life, we experience innate needs, and much of what we crave lines up within our own temperament. Some long for approval, others for loyalty, and others still desire safety, even harmony.
Having said that, there are basic steps we can take to encourage one another. Scripture reminds us with the following anecdote:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29
The message is pretty clear. Choose words that are helpful, ones that will mean something to each person. We need to be careful and avoid all sorts of unproductive and ill-advised words (thoughts). Our psyche is vulnerable and impressionable and we need to discern what words we choose. One helpful idea is to ‘translate’ our thoughts into someone else’s unique language (temperament), one which they can readily identify and then apply.
In today’s day and age, people are concerned with all sorts of things: the economy, political stability, even climate change. All of these are valid and need our attention. The younger generation, well aware that time is valuable, has come up with strategies that deal with time management. That has progressed to include other areas, such as health, entertainment, even wealth. Clever designers have come up with apps that will track every aspect of our lives, to make things simpler and easier to manage.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? However, it leads me to consider one important element that seems to have been left out: word (thought) management.
Our minds are fearfully and wonderfully made. We’re bombarded with all kinds of messages from all sorts of sources. But this is where it’s prudent to pause and check on what we’re inviting/allowing in. In other words, what sorts of themes and ideologies will our minds be subjected to?
Rather than tearing someone down because you disagree with their viewpoint, look for ways to build them up. If you want to build on a relationship, consider that person’s background and strengths and weaknesses. Then, keeping in mind their temperament, work toward enhancing their strengths. You’ll be glad you did.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to remaining humble in your work and leisure activities, not taking yourself too seriously, and above all, always ready to give God praise for his blessings. After all, He is the one who has given us health, the talents and abilities to accomplish so much, and to build up those in our sphere of influence.
Like Max Lucado stated, “The more selective you are about seeds, the more delighted you will be with the crop.” So, let’s sow good seeds (words), and encourage those around us to do likewise.