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. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Your words have power. The words that come out of your mouth can tear others down or build them up. Your words can be a tool that will be used either for good or for evil. You can speak valuable life-giving words or you can speak deathly words that cause discouragement, defeat and even death. Those are very strong words. Yes, I want you to carefully consider every word that you allow to come out of your mouth. Have you ever deeply regretted words that have come out of your mouth? Yes, I have deeply regretted words that have come out of my mouth. Why is that? As you have said, words have power. Once words are spoken they cannot be taken back. Words cannot be unheard. I can recall very negative life-taking words that were spoken to me long ago. It’s hard to forget negative, life-taking and hurtful words. Yes, it is. You remember many other words that have been spoken to you. Yes, I do. Tell me about some living-giving words that you have heard. I have heard marvelous, life-giving words that encouraged me and spurred me on to bigger and better and greater things. I can recall people who believed in me when I did not believe in myself. Those people spoke hope and healing and possibilities into my life that I would have never considered on my own. Do you think they spoke solely out of their own thoughts? I’m not sure what you are asking me. Did their life-giving words originate out of their own hearts and minds? You are asking me where their life-giving words came from? Yes, I am. I haven’t thought about that before now. Think about it now. You were behind their life-giving words. You gave them thoughts to think. You gave them words to speak. You used the words of their mouths to speak life-giving words into in my life. Yes, I did.
Do you want me to use your words to encourage others and spur them on to bigger and better and greater things? Do you want to be able to speak life-giving words that will encourage and lift others up? Yes, I do. What must I do to be able to speak life-giving encouraging words into the lives of other people? You must do two things. You must listen carefully to the people in your life. You must really hear what others are saying to you. Hear their needs through the words they are speaking. Become a student of the people in your life. Know them. Know their needs. Will you do that? Yes, I will. What else must I do? You must listen to me. Don’t think that you know what to say. Ask me to give you life-giving words you can to speak into the lives of others. Will you also do that? Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I have not been gifted at using my words to encourage and build others up. That is probably a dramatic understatement. Forgive me. Help me to listen carefully to others so I will know how to encourage and build them up in their faith. Speak through me. Amen
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