Lincoln’s Pockets

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:2) 
The night US president Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865, his pockets contained the following: two spectacles, a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a handkerchief, a leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate bill, and eight newspaper clippings, including several that praised him and his policies. 
I wonder what the Confederate money was doing in the president’s pocket, but I have little doubt about the glowing news stories. Everyone needs encouragement, even a great leader like Lincoln! Can you see him, in the moments before the fateful play, perhaps reading them to his wife? 
Who do you know who needs encouragement? Everyone! Look around you. There isn’t one person in your line of vision who is as confident as they seem. We’re all one failure, snide comment, or bad hair day away from self-doubt. 
What if we all obeyed God’s command to “please his neighbour for his good to edification”? (Romans 15:2). What if we determined only to speak “pleasant words” that are “as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones”? (Proverbs 16:24). What if we wrote these words down, so friends could reread and savor them? Then we’d all have notes in our pockets (or on our phones!). And we’d be more like Jesus, who “pleased not himself” but lived for others (Romans 15:3). 
Whose words have most encouraged you? Who might need encouragement that you’ve been overlooking? 
When I read this devotion it blessed me so very much! I needed to be reminded of this today. So often we can be so quick to judge someone, not knowing what they are truly going through. Maybe they just need an encouraging word. I pray today God will show me someone I’ve overlooked that might need encouragement. I pray today we can all be better at being swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Loving God, help me to encourage others with my words, actions, and presence. Amen  

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:114