‘Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.’ Romans 15:2 NIV
The words we use are powerful. They can be a strong support or the sharpest weapon. Ephesians 4:29 NIV reminds us: ‘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.’
So we need to be careful with our own words. And the first step to doing that is to make sure our hearts are completely aligned with God. In Matthew 12:34 NIV, Jesus said: ‘the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.’ If we’re speaking with hearts full of resentment or bitterness, our words will reflect this. But if our words come from a heart that’s filled with love, they’ll have the power to encourage and inspire people for good. Paul said: ‘Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.’ (Romans 15:2 NIV)
Even if our own situation isn’t perfect, it doesn’t stop us from encouraging others, and in that process, it can be a real encouragement to ourselves as well, to see how our words can make a difference to someone else. Maybe we have to speak a word of correction to someone. We can still do that from a place of love, and in a way that doesn’t condemn and discourage the person. The Bible reminds us that ‘if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.’ (Galatians 6:1 NIV) Although we may need to remind the person of where they’re going wrong and turning away from God’s will, we should aim to do it from a place of encouragement and support, inspiring them to be the best they can be, with God’s help.
SoulFood: Ezek 46–48, Lk 1:57–66, Ps 139:7–12, Prov 15:28–30
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018