Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
“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.” (29)
Apostle Paul reminds us that becoming a Christian means putting off the old way of life and putting on a new way, following Jesus’ ethical teachings and examples. He entreats us to speak truthfully, avoid anger, theft, and evil talk. My focus for today’s mediation is verse 29. Well, Paul couldn’t have instructed us in any simpler words, could He? Evil talk means poisoned, hurtful words that can tear a person down. We are not to say harmful things about others.
How often do we complain about others? We gripe about things others do that irritate us. We don’t speak in words that help heal and empower those people become stronger and better. We only grumble. We may protest and say that we don’t put others down, and we don’t speak badly of them – at least in public. But what about at home? Do we talk to our spouses at home about our feelings? Do you speak while our children are within earshot? Do we express frustrations about other family members? We all do. We all have people in our lives who rub us the wrong way: people who let us down; people who disappoint and frustrate us; and people who probably do need to make some changes in their hearts or lives. But how are we helping them by simply complaining? We each have a choice. We can keep our thoughts to ourselves and take them to the Lord in prayer, or we can take action and do something to help those who are the subject of our irritation.
Each one of us have a God given ability and potential power within us through our words to change the hearts of others about whom we grumble. Our words can be to their soul what vitamins can be to their body. We can do or say something that will motivate them and encourage them to become stronger. We want others to respect us enough to listen to us. But it starts in our own hearts and in my own homes. We have to assure ourselves that we can make a difference. We can use our words to be cute. We can use our words to appear impressive. We can use our words to win arguments. May your words be of blessing to someone today?
Prayer: God, sensitize me to your truths and values. I want to be truthful, loving, kind, and merciful when I open my mouth and speak. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thought for the day: Our words are like a fire; it can hurt or it can light.
Dr. Thomas Ninan, Mar Thoma Church of Greater Washington