“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32 (MSG)
My dear friends, why is it that we so often hurt people with our words? We all have experienced how one word can destroy a person. Nonetheless, for some reason, we so often unawaringly hurt people.
A few years ago, I had a boss who always accused her employees for her own mistakes. Everyone was afraid of her. It was always someone else’s fault. Many of you can relate, for this is your reality during the week as well. Imagine the stress that the employees go through. Will they work better in such circumstances? Not at all. Every website that I searched online says the same thing: If you live under fear, criticism, anger and stress, your performance will go down. On the other side, if you are happy at work, your performance improves. With that truth in mind, why would a boss even think of putting down their employees? His or her own industry would suffer!
Besides work, friends and family members, as well as other people, can also be nasty with their words. You lose a loved one, and instead of compassion, they begin condemning…you!
It seems that when some people are hurting inside, they strike out for some reason at the ones they love. For example, a lady lost her dad. Immediately after his death, she began accusing her extended family: “He is dead because of you. He had to take care of one of your family members, and because of this, he didn’t get his surgery. It’s your fault that he’s gone.”
Does this make the accuser feel better? Not at all. And quite naturally, those who are condemned don’t feel better either! This is why this Bible text is so important: “Watch the way you talk.” Eph. 4:29a (MSG). If it is something nasty, don’t speak! If it is wholesome, tell everyone.
We are urged to, “Say only what helps, each word a gift.” Eph. 4:29b (MSG). Each word we say should be a gift that brings people closer to one another and makes friends for life.
How does our Heavenly Father sees this? Quite simple: “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.” Eph. 4:30 (MSG) When we hurt other people with our words, we hurt our Heavenly Father as well. And not only this, but it also makes the Holy Spirit grieve. Why would anyone do that? Instead, our Father encourages us to: “Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk.” Eph. 4:31 (MSG) Why?
Because it is not uplifting. We are here to love, and it isn’t love to make people feel put down. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples-when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 (MSG). Ouch!
If we love, we will: “Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:32 ( MSG)
Bye-bye backstabbers. I will follow my Heavenly Father instead!
“I see you need some help. What can I do? I am here for you.”
Thank you so much! Wow!