When Words Change Someone and You Don’t Even Know It

Dr. John Townsend shared a powerful story of words. What was magical about this incident was how accidental it was. He didn’t plan it. It wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t designed to make a life-changing impact. Here’s a paraphrase of his elevator story:

Years ago, I was riding an elevator with one of my employees.. he was an IT guy in our tech department.. and I also noticed that he was really good with people, he listened well and he empathized.. so in that 12 seconds, from the fourth floor to the first floor, I said, “by the way, I noticed how good you are with people, and I know you’re just a tech guy.. you ought to think about being a counselor, you’re so good..” Eh, okay, have a nice day.

About 5 years later, I’m at a party and we see each other, and he tells me, “well, I’m a Christian counselor, and I love what I do.. and I just want to thank you.. because when we were the elevator and you told me [about being a Christian counselor].. when I went to lunch I couldn’t get it out of my head..”

.. it was a one-off.. it was just a throw away [comment].. you have no idea the power of affirming each other..

Proverbs 16:24 says— Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Words of Affirmation are Powerful

Dr. John Townsend spoke from his book, “People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love, and Leadership,” at Saddleback Church in July 2019. The elevator story comes at ~ 59:00 time marker—watch the video at Facebook