Saturday, December 6, 2014

What Speech Says - Martin Wiles

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT

The tongue has no eraser, and mine just wrote a gang of words I wished I could expunge. 

I was new to the local town, having temporarily moved back in with my parents while I searched for employment. One of the area’s popular attractions on Saturday morning was the local flea market. Folks would gather to shop and commune with friends. On this particular Saturday, Mom had rented a booth to dispose of some odds and ends. Since Dad wasn’t the flea market variety, she chose me as her assistant. As we pulled up to our assigned booth and began unloading our wares, I noticed the neighboring seller unloading some of his treasures on one of our tables. When I confronted him, he mouthed something about that being his table. I jawed some unmentionables right back at him, informing him the table was ours. Mom was upset and embarrassed—not because of his using one of our tables but because he was a church member that I’d just cursed out. When she informed me, I looked for the eraser.

Paul’s warning is appropriate. My speech reflects who I am. I’d been a Christian for a number of years when the above incident occurred but at the time wasn’t walking closely with the Lord. My words reflected the distance between him and me as well as the unwise actions and words that distance led to. 

While it’s much easier to speak first and think later, this order almost always results in unwise or unfit words. Considering my words before I utter them often removes the need for an eraser. Kind, encouraging, and uplifting words are always more beneficial than those that do the opposite. Since I can only apologize but never take back what I speak, it makes sense to carefully consider my words beforehand. 

When speaking, think: Is what I’m about to say kind, loving, and necessary. Some things are better left unsaid. 

Prayer: Merciful God, make the words of our mouths pleasing to You and beneficial to others.

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