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Do your words build up or tear down? by Ted Sexton

The following was the handout for the March Monthly Meeting group discussion.  You can listen to the audio by clicking on the left sidebar subpage "Audio Recordings of Past Monthly Meetings".  

Based on Ephesians Chapter 4 (New Kings James)  v. 29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

Ephesians Chapter 4 (NIV)  v. 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."
“What Words???”
Really, this applies to all methods of communications
  • Actual words spoken

  • Tone of voice used (the tone makes up a huge percentage of what we communicate.  For example, "yeah, right", can mean entirely different things depending on how it's said)

  • Facial expressions (smiles or a sour look can change the meaning)

  • Body Language

  • Written notes or messages. (Note the danger of the reader reading into the message their own tone of voice when they read the message or letter, other than the tone the writer had in mind when he wrote it)

Who is your audience?

  • God

  • Your wife

  • Your kids, grand kids

  • Your extended family, folks, siblings etc

  • Your friends

  • Your self

  • Neighbors

  • Co-workers

  • Workers in stores or service places

  • Strangers

  • Persons you dislike

  • Enemies

  • People that don't think or believe like you think or believe

  • Non-Christians

Meaning of the word “Corrupt” in this context

  • Biting

  • Critical

  • Snotty

  • Condemning

  • Belittling

  • Rejecting

  • Demeaning

  • Evil

  • Coarse words and coarse joking

  • Swearing

  • Uncaring words

  • Truth not spoken in love or with a loving attitude

  • Gossip, true or otherwise

  • Poorly done humor, like sarcasm, put downs, etc.

Edifying Words

  • Building up words

  • Encouraging words

  • True compliments

  • Even rebukes can be edifying if done in love and at the right time

  • Words that promote and enhance friendships and good relationships

  • Respectful words

  • Humor if it is well done

  • Apologies

Words that impart Grace to the hearer

  • Words that lead to salvation

  • Words that lead to spiritual growth in the hearer

  • Words that are pure, pleasant, “lovely” and of good report 

Heart attitude

  • Consider that out of the heart comes your words. Your words follow your heart attitude.  If you find your heart is not right towards someone, work on that attitude.

  • Take every thought captive”.

A challenge for each of us !!!

Who is an individual that you have a hard time having good, effective and rewarding conversation with? Your boss, your wife, one of your kids, your neighbor or some other person you are often are in contact with.
  • Covenant to not communicate by any means with any negative words or feelings to that person for 30 days, and to say at least one positive thing to them or about them in their hearing for 30 days. If possible have your “positive” comments be edifying and grace giving.
  • Consider asking that person in your life to review with you how you are doing on a weekly basis. Give them permission to remind you of this commitment when your words, tone of voice or other unsaid “messages” are less than edifying, or does not impart grace.
  • See what happens !!!!