During a time of economic crisis and depressing news, two students at Purdue University decided to lift the spirits of people on campus with some encouraging words. For two hours every Wednesday afternoon, Cameron Brown and Brett Westcott stood along a busy walkway holding a large “Free Compliments” sign and saying nice things to everyone who passed by. “I like your red coat.” “Cool snow boots.” “Very nice smile.” Some students said they deliberately walked past “the compliment guys” every Wednesday just to hear a kind word.

I was struck by these two young men who looked at people with the goal of commending them, rather than finding fault or being critical. Is that how I, as a follower of Christ, view others each day?

Instead of being like the person who is focused on evil and whose speech is “like a burning fire” (Prov. 16:27), we can take a different approach, knowing that what we say begins deep inside us. “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (vv.23-24).

Kind words may be free, but they give a priceless lift of spirit. Why not encourage someone today?