Liberated Words – Consider the Person
Key Bible Verse: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up … – Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Bonus Reading: Romans 15:2-3
The friendship of a couple I knew was amazing. They were able to say the toughest things to each other, things that are hard both to say and to hear, yet they could say them with love. They seemed to avoid self-serving flattery and unloving criticism. They didn’t trim the truth with one another yet said what needed to be said in the best possible way.
I was impressed by their enormous respect for each other, how easily their communication flowed, and how readily they seemed to listen to the other.
Wholesome communication is other-centered communication. Paul says I should never say anything to you that is not helpful for you. Since God is focused on remaking you into his image, I should speak in a way that builds you up. This is not just a matter of what I say but how I say it.
I now have a redemptive agenda for talking about everything. I want all of our talk to be redemptively constructive, from the most mundane details to the huge life decisions. I never want my words to be an obstacle to the work God is doing. The words of an ambassador are always other- centered.
—Tim Lane & Paul Tripp in Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
My Response: Today I’ll work at making my listening and responding less me-centered, more you-centered.
Thought to Apply: Apt words have power to assuage the tumors of the troubled mind.—John Milton (English poet)
Adapted from Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press, 2006)