Isaac of Nineveh: Kind words and encouragement

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Kind words bring life. Proverbs 15:4a

“If thou givest something to one who is poor, let gladness of face and kind words and encouragement for his suffering precede thy gift. When thou doest this, by thy gift the delight of his mind will be greater than the want of his body.”

Isaac of Nineveh (c. 613-700), a Christian bishop and theologian in Mystic Treatises by Isaac of Nineveh, trans. by A.J. Wensinck (Amsterdam: Uitgave der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappeeen, 1923) 233.

Isaac connects kindness and generosity by exhorting us to smile and combine kind words and encouragement with our giving to those in need. This is great advice.

Often we can give resources, which may aid someone for a time. But, when we combine giving with a joy-filled countenance, kind words, and encouragement, we uplift the mind and hearts of those we bless.

Think of a time when someone extended such kindness and generosity to you. It really lifts your spirits, doesn’t it! That happened on the last day of this trip.

An Aussie couple who will remain unnamed expressed a desire to make a generous gift to Global Trust Partners to help the organization get going. What blessed me deeply were their kind and encouraging words that accompanied the gift. “We’re all in with you, Gary!”

Thank you Jesus for your provision for global ministry through this couple and so many others. Moreover, thanks for their “all in” encouragement. Bless them richly, Lord, for their kindness and generosity.