February 10, 2014

building up

Words can be so powerful, can't they?

As Ephesians 4:29 reminds us, our words can have the power to build up, encourage, or tear down those around us.

One of my friends was describing a couple she knows . . . she observed that they only speak respectfully and highly of one another. They seem to hold each other in the highest honor, and she's never heard them talk poorly or complain about each other.

That stuck with me all weekend. Even though I was hearing about this second hand, it really impacted me.

Scripture teaches us to speak kindly, to love, to build up those around us. Sometimes this comes easily, but other times it's not.

The closer you are to someone, the more you see their flaws, their imperfections, their sin, even things they do that get on your last nerve.

So it's not that you speak kindly because your spouse/friend/family is perfect or always on your good side, it's because you can choose to. You can overlook their flaws, you can see them the way God sees them . . . a man or woman that He loves, that He has created in His image (and someone who is imperfect, just as you are).

When you speak this way, that person can thrive and rise up to who God has called them to be.

I've heard it said that grace is the most powerful change agent in the world.

Will complaining, slandering or speaking negatively about our loved ones change them? Will it build them up to become a better person? Will it be helpful to us, them, or the people we speak to?

I'm not saying it's easy . . . I struggle with this all the time.

I have to ask myself, how do I speak to people and about people? Is it kind? Is it beneficial to those who hear?

What would happen if we choose to speak positively and build up those people in our lives? What if we only speak what is kind, what is helpful, what is beneficial? How would it change our relationships, how would it change those around us, how would it change you individually?


  1. Replies
    1. thanks for reading :) you are so sweet and YOU are very wise too. I am learning all the time :)

  2. oh boy. guilty. i consider myself to be an encouraging, positive person, but i can really get caught up in this trap. i gossip, make sarcastic remarks about people, am rude when i should be gracious, the list goes ON. good reminder, sarah. this couple you mentioned has the absolute right idea.


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