Ephesians 4:29: 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.
This verse pops into my head often because I really struggle with this.
I get frustrated at work. A family member makes harmful choices. Friends make irresponsible decisions. The newspapers report on liberal policymakers whose opinions do not coincide with what I believe to be right.
And I find myself saying things that neither build anyone up nor benefit anyone who will listen. Instead of finding ways to love these people and be helpful to them, my first reaction is to criticize them and point out what I think they did wrong.
That reaction isn’t going to bring anyone to Jesus. No, sir. Each one of those people is a sinner, just like me, and God created each one of them, too (whether they want to acknowledge that or not), for a purpose.
The reaction I should have – to anyone – is to love them and let God use me to do His will. Maybe God puts someone in my path so that I can use words to build them up and benefit them.
Is this a challenge for you, as well?