Liberated Words – Consider the Problem
Key Bible Verse: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. – Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Bonus Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:1
Every word an ambassador speaks is directed by the king’s interest and will. What we say must be driven by what God is seeking to accomplish in us and in the other person. God is intent on reconciliation.
He is working in every situation and relationship to reclaim our wandering hearts. He wants to make us people who are more interested in what he wants for us than what we want for ourselves. He won’t relent until we are free from our slavery to an agenda of personal happiness.
God is calling us to speak in a way that has his reconciliation agenda in view. When we do, we can be confident that our words will produce a harvest of comfort, encouragement, hope, insight, unity, and joy, and that they will stimulate love.
An ambassador is always asking, “What is the problem at this moment?”
Before I speak, I must think about what you are struggling with and what you most need. Do you need encouragement, comfort, hope, direction, wisdom, courage, rebuke, warning, forgiveness, patience, teaching, correction, thanks, insight, a job description, or something else? An ambassador’s words always address the person’s true need of the moment.
—Tim Lane & Paul Tripp in Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
My Response: Today I’ll shape my words to meet ____ at his/her current need.
Thought to Apply: Good words are worth much and cost little. —George Herbert (English cleric & author)
Adapted from Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press, 2006)