Sunday, February 13, 2011

Well, Shut My Garbage Spewin' Mouth!

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. Ephesians 4:29

Lately I’ve become more aware of the things that come out of my mouth. It’s embarrassing and painful to admit, but way too often I find that I have a very acerbic tongue, a cutting humor, a critical spirit, and easily shoot verbal bullets at people (my Mom calls it “verbal sniping” – because it’s so easy to hurt someone with words). The original Greek refers to unwholesome as “rotten, putrefied; of poor quality”. Basically garbage mouth!

When I think of unwholesome words, the first thing that comes to mind is either actively cutting someone down or cursing up a storm. You know, the “big” things that you know you’re not supposed to say. But those little running comments, that little put-down here, that sarcastic answer there, well, they’re like termites in the foundation of a relationship that slowly eat away at someone, and also eat away at the foundation of my witness as a Christ-follower. Later in the verse we’re called to use words that build others up. Hmmm… that goes along with my whole termite scenario. I get this visual of each word that comes out of my mouth being a brick, and I can use that brick to either build up, or to slam and destroy. So much power, so much riding on everything that I say throughout the day.

I remember hearing once a good rule of thumb to check what you’re about to say – “Is it truthful? Is it accurate? Is it necessary?” I would also like to add “Is it beneficial – will it build up or tear down?” Which brings me also to two verses that I will pray each morning from now on:

Psalm 141:3 – “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Psalm 19:14 – “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

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