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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV)
Words Have Power
I understand that my words have power. What kind of power do your words have? My words have the power to tear others down or my words have the power to build others up. How do you know that to be true? I have been torn down by words. I have been built up by words. Harmful words can deliver a sting that lasts a lifetime. Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to unhear words that have been painful and damaging. This sound like the voice of experience. Yes, it is. Are you having a difficult time unhearing words that have torn you down? Yes, I am. Let me be clear, I have forgiven the people that have spoken damaging words to me. I am also trying to unhear what has been said to me. I am also trying to let go, forget and move on from painful words that have been spoken to me. Even so, occasionally memories of destructive and damaging words still pop into in my mind when something triggers their memory. I think you are the only one that can heal my memory of painful and damaging words that have been spoken to me. Yes, I am. Yes, I can. Yes, I will. For that I am very thankful. That is good.
Based on your experience with destructive and damaging words, what have you learned? I would much rather be a person who speaks words that build others up. I don’t ever want to speak words that will tear others down. That’s good. What else? Damaging and destructive words can be thoughtlessly and carelessly spoken without any evil intent. Some of the most painful words that I have ever heard were spoken more as a joke than as damaging and destructive attack. The offending person would probably not even remember the hurtful words that they spoke to me. They might even be shocked to learn that I have remembered them years later. So, what does that tell you? I need to be very careful about the words that come out of my mouth. I need to carefully consider the power of my words. Yes, you do.
What do you hope your words will accomplish? I want to speak words that will build others up. I want to speak life-giving words that will encourage others. I want to speak timely words that will positively help others, according to their need. How will you be able to speak these kinds of words? Not without your help, that is for sure. Will you ask me to help you to speak life-giving, encouraging words? Will you come to rely on my help? Yes, I will. Then I will give you words to speak so that others can be built up, according to their needs. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I want to follow your example. I want to live the life you lived. I want to think and speak and act towards others, just as you would. I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit within me. Help me to use my words to build others up according to their needs. Amen
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