Sticks and Stones

Words …. We use them everyday!   How we use them determines our future and sometimes the future for others.
Matthew 12:34b “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Psalms 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in thy sight, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer.”

Proverbs 18:21 (The Message )
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Words by Hawk Nelson https://youtu.be/anVweXDcxhA

“Words can build you up or words can break you down.  Start a fire in your heart or put it out.”
(Hawk Nelson video above)

There is power in our words. We need to think about how we use them.
On any given evening in our living rooms, we see how not to use our words.  We see sarcasm and putdowns and all manners of unkind words of complaining and grumbling.
We have become a culture of mean unkind people while all the time preaching tolerance and declaring our own rights spoken with a version of our own “truth”.

God’s Word gives us instructions on how to speak to one another and build one another in the faith.  Now let’s see how we should use our voices to bring healing. Paul gives us an example to guide us in this journey.

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome (corrupt) talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up,(edifying) as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Identifying what unwholesome or corrupt means helps us better determine what we need to do.
The Greek word for unwholesome or corrupt is “sapros”.  It means rotten, decaying, useless and unprofitable. If our speech is rotten like rotten fruit or meat, it provides no nourishment.  It is likely one would become sick from eating it.   Rotten fruit or meat smells bad.  It makes the air and the atmosphere around very unpleasant. Some of the examples of rotten speech might be: name calling, put-downs, trading insult for insult, sarcasm, ridicule  mockery, blaming exaggerated attacks, (you always and you never), gripping and complaining, destructive criticism, angry words including threats and revenge, arguments where you seek to win to maintain power, deception, lies and manipulative speech, gossip and slander, profanity, filthy talk, and coarse jokes.  (preceptaustin.org/ephesians4/stevencole) OUCH!!!  (My toes are blue too.)

The other word we need examine is edify,  In the Greek, the word is “oikodomeo”.  It means to build or erect a  house or building. I find it just like our awesome God to leave clues in His Word.  In Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Jesus will build His church.  How will He do it?  He paved the way by the cross of Calvary for us to enter into eternal life with Him.  The mission has been given to us, His children, the Body of Jesus, the Bride of Christ to equip”,(build) the saint for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” (Ephesians 4:12-13 NAS)
We are to build up one another.  We do that by our actions but also by our words.  We build the body in the unity of the faith through our actions and our words.   Some of the ways we can build up or edify the body are:

  1. We do it through wholesome words, encouragement, praise, appreciation, gratefulness, loving words, patient words, kind words, and gentle words.
  2. We do it by being sensitive to others needs, learning to listen, and giving grace when we do not have all the answers.   (taken from a message by Steven J. Cole produced on preceptaustin.org)

Romans 14: 18-20a “For he who is in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.  So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God.”

This past few weeks I have experienced the encouragement of a group of ladies who are building up the faith of the body.  We met one morning a week to discuss the study of the Gospel of Luke.  They were prepared for class and excited each week about what they learned in God’s Word.  We prayed for each other, we encouraged one another and shared what we learned.  Each week I left that study feeling encouraged, lifted up and ready to face the world outside that “bubble.”  I would like to have stayed with the “holy huddle” and not have to face the world but that isn’t what Christ called us to do.

I was blessed this week by another group of ladies who have recently been going through some very rough times.  Three of them had starred Cancer in the face… cancer that ugly word that we hate and has become some prevalent today.  We had dinner to celebrate the wonderful news that one was now “cancer free.”  One is still facing treatment and we are praying soon she will be able to celebrate that same news also.  The encouragement from sharing their common experiences was strengthening them through their journey.  There was no “unwholesome” words spoken that night.  When I left I felt like I had experienced what I believe Jesus meant for His church and His children.  There was worship but there was no music or preaching.  We were not in a “building” but we were built up in our faith that Jesus conquered death and that he is faithful to care for His people in all circumstances.  Shining like a light in the darkness, these ladies blessed me and Jesus was pleased.  Thank you friends for pouring your life into mine.
May we all use our words this week in a wholesome manner that builds up others.
“By this everyone will know that your are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Your Words by Third Day  https://youtu.be/9zaaiFp4RSM
Treading with wonderful friends,
Freda Reynolds

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