Pondering Ephesians 4:29-32

This Week’s Passage: 29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

So here are a few things that grab my attention as I ponder this passage:

Do not let… Get rid of… – We have a choice with how we use our words. And we need to be careful with what we let come out of our mouth. One of the things that angers me the  most is when I hear somebody say something hurtful to someone else. This happens a lot more than you might think. Watch what you say!

…according to their needs – This means that we need to understand what the other person’s needs are before we open our mouths. Do they need support, compassion, encouragement? Do they need a word of grace or a word of truth? Do they need hope? Or do they just need to know that someone cares? I think for me that more often than not I am guilty of speaking at people rather than to people and their needs.

Do not grieve… – I’m not sure that we understand that when we say hurtful things we are not just hurting someone we are hurting God – causing His Spirit to grieve. Perhaps if people were more aware of this they would be more careful with what they say.

One the things that I will always remember my pastor Don Chasteen saying is that “Hurting people hurt others.”  It would serve us well to remember this the next time that someone says something hurtful to us. Their words are more of an indictment of themselves than than of us – and it is an indication that they are hurting inside and desperately need us to show them compassion and forgiveness – in the same way that it has been shown to us. When we do this we incarnate the gospel and demonstrate the love of Christ to people in real and genuine ways.

I’m just sayin’!

Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 5:1-2

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