“What you say can mean life or death.” Pr 18:21 NCV

To honor her students, a teacher gave each a ribbon that stated, “Who I am makes a difference,” and asked them to pass it along to someone who’d made a difference in their lives. One kid gave his to a young executive who helped him plan his career. He in turn gave it to his boss, who was hard to get along with. He told him how much he’d been influenced by his creativity, and asked him to give the ribbon to somebody he admired. That night the boss told his fourteen-year-old son, “I’ve thought about who I want to honor—and it’s you. My days are hectic, and I’m always complaining about your grades and your messy bedroom. Tonight I want to let you know the difference you’ve made in my life. Besides your mother, you’re the most important person I know, and I love you.” Fighting back tears, the boy replied, “Earlier today I wrote a letter explaining why I’d taken my life, and asking you to forgive me. I was going to do it when everybody was asleep. I didn’t think you’d care. I guess I won’t need the letter now.” Upstairs in his son’s room the father found the anguish-filled note beside a loaded gun. God can help you to “speak a word in season to him who is weary” (Isa 50:4 NKJV). Words change lives: “What you say can mean life or death.” So go out of your way today to speak words of encouragement to somebody you don’t normally think about. “A word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!” (Pr 15:23 AMP).