by Pastor Chris Mann
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‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs’ (Ephesians 4:29).
I don’t know about you, but I have often misread parts of the Bible, reading over a slab of text and missing what is really going on.
The verse above is one of those parts I’ve often misread.
I once watched a sermon online where the preacher was sharing about how we communicate with each other to build each other up, and something she said grabbed my attention.
She said, ‘So often we think that the goal is to just not say bad things. And that’s good, but that’s not what Paul says, and we discover that it isn’t enough – it doesn’t produce the relationships we want. And so, we start saying nice things, kind things – but often we fall into the trap of saying the kind of things we want to hear – not what they want to hear. So, we get frustrated and annoyed. But what Paul is saying’, she exhorted, ‘is that we are to consider our words for what builds up that person, in their life, according to what they need – that is what benefits them’.
She had an amazing point – and it has changed how I communicate. I hope her words do the same for you.
Lord God, help us to speak words that build up our hearers – not just avoiding unwholesome talk, but words that build up those who need it, words that edify, and words that grow people. Help us to truly know and love those we talk with so that we know the right things to say by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.