Friday, July 31, 2009

Watch Your Mouth

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4: 29 NRSV

I am thinking that this would be an excellent scripture to have over the door into the sanctuary, on our name tags, and perhaps even on our church voicemail. Maybe open worship with it as well! I can't tell you how many people have been hurt, left church and never darkened a church door again after someone else's "evil talk" came out of their mouths. Forget the color of the carpet or the time of men's bible study! What others say can inflict more damage than any issue in the church.

Recently I have read a couple of John Gottman's books on marriage. One thing that really struck me was the understanding that being verbally critical of your spouse can lead to feelings of contempt. To feel contempt means that you see yourself as superior. And this can lead straight to a total breakdown of the marriage.

What is true within the marital relationship is equally true in the house of God relationship. Being verbally critical of one another can cause more damage among worshippers. It says you think of yourself as better than the other person when the truth is that God sees us as all equally important in the Body of Christ.

Paul reminds the church at Ephesus (and us as well) to watch what we say. Are our words going to build someone up or hurt someone? Do we allow ourselves to spew all kinds of evil talk or open our mouths with love that builds up?

God, help us keep our mouths shut when we are tempted to speak evilly. Guard our mouths and help us build one another up in love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Question of the day: When have you let evil talk come out of your mouth recently?

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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