When my husband and I were dating, we visited a church that was hosting a high-profile speaker. Not long into the message I started getting a little uncomfortable. My discomfort increased as the preacher went on 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 clearly recall this preacher’s reckless and damaging words.
All I remember from his message that night is how he slammed people right and left from the pulpit.
Have you slammed anyone lately? It seems a little funny to be asking that of readers on this blog. Surely, none of us ever use our mouths to put down a fellow believer . . . do we? (Do you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)
James says 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 going home with a family after church one Sunday afternoon when I was a little girl. 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?”
Are you ever guilty of blessing God and “cursing” others with the same mouth, perhaps in the same breath?
When I was a teacher in a Christian high school, I heard “people slamming” vernacular used all the time, so I decided to implement Ephesians 4:29 as a guideline for speech in my classroom:
[box]“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.”[/box]
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?
Even as I type this, I’m convicted. I need this. I needed this reminder to apply Ephesians 4:29 to all my conversations today!
If you’ve never done this before, why not declare today an “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.
Instead of slamming a few people today, how will you bless them?
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