Use your words to build people up. 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.”
When I was in college the janitorial company I worked for was hired to tear down a wall in an apartment and then clean it up. I had never done anything like that before. I didn’t know how to start so I asked supervisor for instructions. He said, take this sledge hammer and hit this wall until there is nothing left to hit. I had more fun that day that is lawful in the state of Mississippi! It’s fun to tear things down.
Sometimes with our words it’s like a sledgehammer, no planning, no thinking. We swing away and all of a sudden we look around and all we’ve got is a pile of rubble, relational rubble. When you just swing away with your words and tear people down inevitably your relationships are going to suffer. Words are the single most important tool given to man by God. Without a doubt!
One of the reasons we’re not constructive with our words is we don’t realize how powerful this tool is, our mouth. We say things without thinking. People remember them. The things people have said to you in a thoughtless way it may have been as far back as grade school or college or when you first started working. You still remember some of those things. That’s how powerful words are. So when it comes to your mouth, think of it as a power tool and be very careful with it.
Here are directions for the use of a power tool I bought several years ago. I was struck by how it related to the use of another power tool that God has given us – our mouth.
- Know your power tool.
- Keep guards in place.
- Be careful around children.
- Store idle tools when not in use.
- Don’t over reach
- Never use in an explosive atmosphere.
It fits how we are to use this mouth which is an incredible tool to build people up.
How can I start using it more carefully so instead of destroying with it, I’m building and constructing relationships with it?
1. Stop excusing. Stop saying, “I didn’t really mean to say that.” or “It’s just that blood sugar dip before lunch. That’s all it was.” Stop excusing and realize that what you say is impacting everybody around you.
2. Talk less. If it’s a power tool – you don’t have to use it as much. Talk less. One of the reasons we get in trouble is we just talk too much sometimes. We talk before we think. We need to talk less and…
3. Listen more. If I listen more I can understand people’s needs. One of the small lessons of life that makes an incredible impact on the way you and I use our words.
4. Start building. Think first of all, “what do they need?” How can I use a word of encouragement to build them up? How can I use a word of challenge to make a difference in their life? How can I use my words to build the people that I love the most?