When my husband and I were dating, we visited a large church hosting a high-profile speaker. Not long into the message I began to get a little uncomfortable. My discomfort increased as the preacher began a tirade against certain individuals, even referring to them as “idiots.” Years later, I don’t have a clue what his text or his point was, but I can clearly recall this preacher’s critical words.
Have you slammed anyone lately? It seems a little funny to be asking that of readers on this blog. Surely, as Christian women we never use our mouths to put down a fellow believer . . . do we? (Do you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)
James concludes that this inconsistent behavior is as ludicrous as dipping your cup in a clear mountain stream and finding it filled with salt water or discovering olives growing on a fig tree!
I remember as a little girl going home with a family after church one Sunday afternoon. The trip to their house was a general “dismembering” session. They tore the pastor limb from limb as well as a few other church members who were thrown into the mix. I remember sitting dumbfounded thinking, “Is this the same couple I heard singing in the choir just an hour ago?”
How often do we bless God and “curse” others with the same mouth, perhaps in the same breath? I heard “people slamming” vernacular used frequently as a teacher in a Christian high school and decided to implement Ephesians 4:29 as a guideline for speech in my classroom:
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Wow. Let the full weight of this verse sink in. If we ONLY spoke words which edified (encouraged spiritual advancement and blessed and benefited the listener), how different would our conversations be?
If you’ve never done this before, why not declare today “Ephesians 4:29 Day”? Try to only speak words which will bless others and spread grace through your day. If you have children, you could include the whole family in this project. Practice this consistently and you’ll be amazed at the results!
Originally posted 02.23.11 at www.truewoman.com.