Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT
Jimbob learns to encourage with his words
Jimbob tries several ways to control his words, you might want to give it a listen. Paul is rephrasing Proverbs 18:21 –The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.(NIV). Notice the words that flow forth from the tongue have creative and destructive power. They can bring life or cause death.
Another proverb states – The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet. (GNT) Proverbs 10:19. The freedom you have to speak what is on your mind, does not mean it is always right to say it.
Paul is also sharing a solution to the problem of saying unwholesome things or abusive language. It is not enough to STOP using some words. You have to REPLACE them with something else. A new pattern must be started to change the behavior.
Words of encouragement start with listening first. Another Proverb says a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver. When you choose to be silent enough to listen, you will know which words will bring encouragement.
It’s more than choosing a different word or tone, Paul paints a mental image for our words to be good and helpful. Our words should build the other person up. Not saying the bad or abusive word is only the start. Speaking words of encouragement to strengthen the other person is the goal.
Words that build up are like providing water and sunshine to seeds for growth Words that build up are like adding supporting beams to the house framing Words that build up are like adding air to a deflated balloon Words that build up bring joy to the sadden heart Words that build up are like a cool fresh breeze on the last ten minutes of mowing the lawn Words that build up is like the best tasting ice cream with no calories to follow Words that build up create a solid foundation to navigate life's challenges Words that build up always blesses both the giver and the receiver
May you learn how to replace harsh, unkind, insensitive words with life giving words of love, hope, and joy. Those words always leave a better taste in your mouth and find a resting place in their heart. Take some time today to build up your spouse, your child, your neighbor, the cashier, the waitress. It will be a blessing which keeps on giving.
Blessings, Love y’all