Truth Is, Encouragement Has a New Language

by Andy Wood on November 19, 2010

in Esteem, Life Currency, Words

I don’t know where it started, but if you’re watching, you may discover a fresh face of encouragement.  In this neck of the woods… um, well, we don’t have woods.  On these windswept plains, you’ll find it on Facebook among a group of teenagers in the Abilene area. 

It’s a simple formula, really, but it hits a nerve of elegance, authenticity, and power.

It’s a declaration of something valuable or important one person sees in another, preceded by the words, “Truth is.”

Here’s a sampling:

Girl to a guy:  Truth is, you make me laugh.  Truth is, you remind me of Nathan on One Tree Hill.  Truth is, occasionally you give good advice.  Truth is, it’s cool that you’re a mathlete.  Truth is, I’m glad we’re friends.

Girl to a girl:  Truth is, you’re gorgeous! Truth is, your hair is so pretty! Truth is, you’re such a great friend! Truth is I know I can tell you anything!

Girl to a guy:  Truth is, you should be a rock star. Truth is, we’ve gotten to be good friends this year.  Truth is, you’re the only guy at our lunch table.  Truth is, I’m sorry about what you learn at lunch. Truth is, you’re really nice and funny.

Guy to a girl:  Truth is, I don’t know what all this truth stuff is, but I’ll try it. Truth is, you’re really cool! Truth is you sing amazingly! Truth is I like to give you hugs!

Truth is, these teenagers are meeting a fundamental need of every human – the need to feel valued, loved, and appreciated for who we are, and especially for how we’re unique.  God knows, there is plenty of shame and rejection floating around.  It’s refreshing to me that somebody is publicly elevating somebody else’s sense of worth and accomplishment.

Guy to a girl: Truth is, I’m only doing this truth is thing for you haha. Truth is, you’re a million times smarter than me. Truth is, I go along with everything you say to make u happy. Truth is, you’re not always right, but it’s all good because I say you’re right anyway, ha. Truth is, I want to come see your awesome church. Truth is I really want to know you more. Truth is, one of my favorite things about you is your relationship with God (which I’m jealous of) and how you help me grow closer to God. Truth is, you’re an amazing person that makes me thank God for allowing me to have a chance to know someone like you. Truth is, I could go on and on but that would take awhile.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  We’re just supposed to get that from the Lord.  We’re supposed to not need praise or encouragement or positive words from other people.

Truth is, if you really believe that, you’re most likely a religious reject or an isolated idiot.  Why do you suppose the Bible says that the key to growing up spiritually is “speaking the truth in love?”   Your words – particularly your words of encouragement – have significant power to give life (sometimes literally), growth and courage.

Girl to girl:  Truth is, we’ve been friends for a really long time. Truth is, you’re really pretty.  Truth is, you rock at basketball.

The Bible is filled with great examples of people using words to speak encouraging truth into someone else.  My favorite happens to be Paul’s last letter in the New Testament – what we know as 2 Timothy.  Here’s the “truth is” paraphrase of part of this letter:

Truth is, I love you.  Truth is, you are like a son to me.  Truth is, I thank God for you.  Truth is, I’m praying for you night and day.  Truth is, I can’t wait to see you.  Truth is, you are the real deal. Truth is, you are blessed with a godly heritage.  Truth is, you are a gifted man.  Truth is, you are not alone.  Truth is, you don’t have to be afraid.  Truth is, you have God’s resources available to you.  Truth is, you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Truth is, you’re a part of God’s plan.  Truth is, you are saved and called.  Truth is, I’ll lead the way for you.  Truth is, you’re going to make it.

By the way, at the risk of overstating the obvious, lest you think this is all sorta girlie, this was dude-to-dude.

So why not try it?  Venue doesn’t matter. Facebook or Twitter will do nicely.  Email works, too.  Heck, I don’t care if you use SMOKE SIGNALS.  Have you told someone lately what it is about them you appreciate… or love?

If you don’t mind, I think I’ll practice.  This is something of a scattershoot, but I believe the Lord can use it to refresh and encourage you, if you’ll receive it.

Truth is, though you may be exhausted, sad or lonely, your heart has the strength and passion to keep going.  Truth is, however lost, tossed or broken you may be, the darkness in your world will not have the final say.  Truth is, in this life you are shaping your world, not by the mountains you climb, but by the people you love (and you are shaping it).  Truth is, you are loved for the way you bring gladness and laughter into the lives you touch.  Truth is, I am a better man because of the people who have given me time and kindness – especially when I didn’t deserve it – and so are you.  Truth is, time with you is someone else’s treasure (make time!).  Truth is, you are missed by others probably more than you know, and as much as you miss some (make the call!).  Truth is, you are greatly blessed by a Father who watches over you and will never leave or forsake you.  Truth is, even when it feels like the whole world is in your face, you can trust His faithfulness and feel His love.  Truth is, all the visible grand gestures and extraordinary expressions of love you see (and you will see some) will never be enough to express the depths with which He loves you.  Truth is, you don’t have to be afraid – you can trust Him to take you by the hand and lead you on this eternal adventure.  Truth is, a thousand summers are like a bright afternoon to the Lord, and He knows the sighs of your heart.  Truth is, soon the deepest longings of your soul will be satisfied when you see your King face to face. 

Your turn.  Let me help you get started.

Truth is…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky November 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

Truth is you hit it out of the park with this one!!
Truth is I’m sharing this everywhere and with everyone.
Truth is your scattershot expression of encouragement, being that it’s all from the Word, really was encouraging!
Truth is you’re such a creative and gifted writer and I’m so glad our paths once crossed!

joel November 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Truth is…
encouragement is not lost on you

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