Let me ask you a question - do you find it hard to hold your tongue at times? You hear someone saying something that you don’t agree with. You read something on social media that is just absolutely, unequivocally, in your opinion, completely wrong. Or maybe you got an email from someone who has no idea what’s going in a particular situation and lays you out.
What about that person that is having a hard time. They are struggling financially. Or maybe a friend is going through a hard time at work. Maybe they don’t even have a job.
All that to say, how do you respond? Is it with an encouraging word? Do you lift up the person that you are talking to? Do you encourage them? Do they leave your conversation feeling better about themselves or worse? Do you reflect God in your speech?
Ephesians 4:29 is a great verse to help us navigate through this. It really is quite simple on paper, but it seems to be more difficult to live out. The verse says,
“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.”
Do your words build others up, or do they tear them down? In the time we are living in, being right is not, should not, be the most important thing. People need to hear that Jesus loves them. They need to understand that regardless of what is going on in their life, God loves them and is for them. Are you encouraging people according to their needs, or are you letting them know how wrong they are? Or how they could have done things so much better or differently. A lot of times we choose to make our point known and strive to be “right” in a conversation. The problem with that is, we can do more damage to the relationship than good. I am not sure who the author of this statement is, but it is very poignant. “Choose the relationship over being right.” In light of eternity, what is more important? Being right about the debate on Facebook is far less important than the relationship you have with the person you are debating.
We are seeing some decisions being made by our elected officials that may leave us scratching our head. I know the current situation of county and city schools has my family wondering how any of it is going to work. When we respond to these decisions with our words, posts, do they build up or tear down? Like I said at the beginning of this devotional, this is very simple on paper, but much harder to live out. Choose wisely how you will respond. Are your words a reflection of Christ and His love, or are they just based on our opinion?
Remember this, how we respond reveals more about us than the one we are responding to.
Love you and praying for you!
See you Sunday!
Pastor of Worship Ministries