How to Change Someone’s Life Forever

encouragement Jul 25, 2021

When I was in third year high school, I had a very inspiring English teacher, Mr. Edgardo “Guy” Simondac. I will never forget him for as long as I live. He made an impact on my life.

For one of our class assignments, he asked us to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach, and write a reaction paper about it. I remember picking up that small paperback in the library and bringing it home with me. It was a story about a seagull who dreamed of flying like the eagles. He thought differently from all the other seagulls. He didn’t settle for mediocrity.

I wrote my paper with so much zeal and enthusiasm. I passionately shared the insights I had gained. I was so moved and inspired by the message of the book.

On the deadline, we turned in our reaction papers to Mr. Simondac.

A few days later, Mr. Simondac saw me in the lobby of our school building.

“My G**, you are a writer!” he exclaimed.

He handed me my paper, and I saw a 98% scribbled in red ink.

I loved to write, but I never thought of myself as a "writer." I was a shy young man and struggled with self-doubt. But on that day, I walked out of that encounter a changed student. No longer was I filled with insecurity and self-doubt. Mr. Simondac believed in me, and it made a difference in my life. I'm now a professional writer with clients in the US and Canada.

How about you? Can you remember a teacher, a coach, or a parent who made a big difference in your life? What was it about them that made them so special?

Mr. Simondac made such an impact on my life because he cared. I can count the best teachers that I ever had on the fingers of one hand. He will certainly rank as one of my favorite teachers of all time. Because he cared. And he changed my life forever.

You, too, can care so much about someone else’s growth that you change their life in ways you can never imagine.

One of the best ways you can do that is by encouraging them. That’s what Mr. Simondac did for me. Just one sentence made my day. One sentence changed my life.

So use the power of your words to lift up, not to tear down. To build up, not to destroy.

I’m reminded of the Bible verse that says: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29, NKJV).

Notice these three keywords:

  1. Corrupt: The word “corrupt” comes from the Greek word sapros, meaning rotten, worthless, or bad. Criticism, comparisons, put downs, and gossip do great damage to relationships.
  2. Edification: In contrast, what we are to speak are words of “edification,” which means to “build up” or promote the growth of another in wisdom, happiness, or holiness. It means to add real value to people’s lives — to improve someone’s life in some tangible way.
  3. Grace: Our goal must be to impart “grace” to the hearers. Grace is charis in Greek — “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness” (Strong’s Dictionary). I certainly don’t mean flattery, but honest and sincere appreciation, spoken from the heart.

You and I have tremendous power in our words. As the proverb states, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV). When we speak good and life-giving words, we can nurture our relationships.

Find someone to inspire and encourage today. It may be your spouse, your child, your parent, a sibling, or a friend. See what they are good at, and tell them. But make sure it’s coming from a sincere and honest heart. Never flatter — never say things you don’t mean. But try to find something — even one thing — that you can sincerely and honestly commend them about.

Who knows? You just might be the person who will change their life… forever.


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