Linda Dillow, in her book Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, discusses ways that we can worship.  One of the ways that she describes is to worship God by bowing our words.  Dillow states, “Like bad fruit, ‘rotten’ talk spreads rottenness. . . . Edifying words give grace, not judgment.  They meet the need of the moment.”  (p. 115) She urges readers to encourage their loved ones, explaining that “[v]erbal encouragement includes the idea of one person joining another on a journey and speaking words that inspire the traveler to keep pressing on, despite obstacles and fatigue.” (p. 118)  Similarly, Drs. Larry Crabb and Dan Allender, in their book Encouragement, define “encouragement” as “the careful selection of words that are intended to influence another person meaningfully toward increased godliness.” (p. 20)

As I’ve tried to put those sentiments into practice in my speech lately, I’ve found that what I thought constituted encouragement–a compliment here, a nice word there–doesn’t necessarily influence a person toward increased godliness.  More often than I’d like to admit, the words I direct towards others are to make me feel better about myself. 

But I want my writing to be different.  I want it to encourage others in their spiritual walks.

So how do we, as Christian writers, bow our words in our writing?