Keep the commandment without stain or reproach. (1 Timothy 6:14).
In today’s reading, Paul is the one encouraging his beloved son in the faith, Timothy. He has confidence that Timothy has all the gifts he needs to meet any challenges: “Keep the commandment . . . until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:14). In other words, when things are easy, “Keep on keeping on, Timothy!” And when they are tough? “Keep on going—until Jesus comes again.”
We can do it too—we can be the ones cheering on the people around us. Just think how a simple word of encouragement does a world of good: “That was a delicious dinner you made last night!” is like music to a cook’s ears if she slaved over a hot stove for two hours. “I am so proud of the way you handled that difficult situation at school” can make any child’s face light up. “You worked hard on this project—thank you for all your efforts” are welcome words to an employee from his supervisor.
Even though we understand the benefit of kind words, it’s easy to slip into a habit of giving only critical feedback. After all, we are constantly surrounded by negative comments. We just have to glance at a tabloid or watch the news on television to see how hard we can be on one another. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can turn the tide with just one word of encouragement. Every day, you have an opportunity to be the salt and light that Jesus asked you to be. So who in your life could use some encouragement—a child, your spouse, a co-worker? Remember Paul cheering on Timothy. You can make a difference for someone you meet today.
“Jesus, show me who could use a kind word today.”
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church/ Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne