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 young lady was talking . . . but not to me.
I entered the establishment to pay our monthly bill. Two young ladies busied themselves helping other customers . . . or so it appeared. One stood behind the counter, talking on the phone to the customer she assisted. The other sat behind a desk. As I walked through the doorway, the one behind the desk asked if she could help me. I wondered how she could help me when I had just heard her talking to someone on the phone.
I told her what I needed and heard her say, “Hold on.” I thought she was talking to me, but she wasn’t. That’s when I noticed the Bluetooth earpiece hidden in her ear and disguised by her hair. If she could tell the person she was talking with to hold on, obviously, she was on a personal call—something I assumed store policy forbade.
As she helped me, she continued to talk with the other person. In the middle of completing my transaction, she told them to hold on again, but then said, “Hello.” Now, she was in a three-way conversation: two personal and one business. I held my tongue, although I wanted to tell her if she wanted my business, she needed to tend to me and not her personal affairs.
This young lady had mastered the art of multi-tasking, even if doing so violated business policy—and is impossible. I’m sure she wouldn’t have appreciated me talking on my cell phone while she tried to wait on me. In fact, many businesses have a sign prohibiting customers from doing so.
Paul addresses the matter of talking, telling us to use words that help, encourage, and uplift.
I love technology as much as the next person. Having grown up in a world where I didn’t have the luxury of many forms of it, I enjoy it now. But it can interfere with personal interaction if we’re not careful.
When we talk to others, we need to recognize their worth. Trying to divide our attention between them and a phone call or texting with someone else might send the message that the conversation—or the person we’re talking with—isn’t that important at all. God has created everyone uniquely and for a purpose. Giving them our full attention when we’re talking with them recognizes this. Eye contact is still essential.
And since enough negativity decorates our world, we need to spew words that encourage others rather than take them down another notch. When we depend on God to guide our speech, He’ll give us the right words to say.
When you talk the talk, do it in a considerate and loving manner.
Prayer: Father, put words in our mouths that build others us, not tear them down.
Tweetable: What does your speech say to others?
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