Liberated Words – Consider the Process
Key Bible Verse: Only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God … – Ephesians 4:29-30 NIV
Ambassadorial communication isn’t just about the content of our words, but delivering them in a manner that will “benefit those who listen.”
We often choose to say the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time. Confronting a teenager five minutes before she leaves for school isn’t helpful, even if the content is accurate.
Rebuking a friend for an offense in front of others isn’t helpful. Asking your wife to consider how she hurt you as she’s trying to get to sleep isn’t helpful.
Paul’s practical model to guide our words ends with: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.” When you and I speak as mini-kings to get our own way, not only do we hurt and grieve other people, we also grieve the Lord.
Our relationships have been designed as workrooms for redemption, not shelters for human happiness. If we’re ever going to give grace when we talk, we need grace to free us from our bondage to ourselves.
—Tim Lane & Paul Tripp in Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
My Response: I’ll ask God to use my words today to be redemptively constructive in someone’s life.
Thought to Apply: Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.—George Sala (English journalist)
Adapted from Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press, 2006)