Monday, 19 July 2010

Choose Your Words

Every once in a while a passage of Scripture jumps out at me and I think to myself, “self, this is not a new passage, it has been around a few thousand years.” But for some unknown reason the Spirit heightens my awareness. Such was the case as I was reading Ephesians 4;29 which says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

All righty then how many married couples do you know who apply this piece of Scripture to their daily dialogue? Did the number zero come to mind! Let’s dissect this passage to get the full impact.

Unwholesome talk – usually inflicts pain, intentionally or unintentionally. Most often unwholesome talk is “me-centered”, i.e. what is said has no higher purpose than serving me in some way. Do not let “any”( that means none, zilch, zero, nadda, a big goose egg) such talk come out of my mouth.

Helpful for building others up – infers that what I say to you is in some way beneficial to you. The qualifier “only” means that I know you well enough to be highly selective and share specifically those insights that will be helpful to your spiritual growth.

According to their needs – not according to what might benefit me but what I perceive will be of specific benefit to the other person. This seems redundant so it must be important. For if it is truly helpful for building the other person up then it would stand to reason that it would be according to their needs.

Benefit those who listen – we’ve covered the benefit part but “those who listen” adds a new dimension of complexity. This suggests to me that I need to choose my words carefully along with the time and the place if there is any chance the other person is going to listen to what I am saying and be open to the potential for change.

My initial thought was this was written by a guy who wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. Then I quickly remembered it was inspired by God. Checkmate!

1 comment:

  1. This verse should be posted everywhere I turn, because my tongue (shamefully) can resemble a sword some times. And building others up (especially my husband -- the person I love so dearly) is an area I fall short too many times.

    So happy to have checked out your blog and just sent the URL to my husband :)


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