For Lord’s Day, September 1, 2013
Tomorrow evening, we will continue studying the Scriptures with the guide of the Larger Catechism 135 on understanding our duty to preserve and save the life of ourselves and others, as implied by “Thou shalt not kill.”
We will focus on one clause that relates to our speech and behavior (body language). With that in mind, I’d like to encourage you to think about this verse:
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
The old adage is, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Well, that is understandable “self-speak” to try and not be totally broken by the cruel and insensitive mouths of others. But we all know that words can tear down greatly just as much as they can mightily build up. So we must choose our words and how we say them carefully, like anyone seeking to build a proper foundation for a building to stand strong over the years.
A friend in seminary once spoke of his mentor’s influence in his life like this: “He spoke life into me.”
I want to ask you, what kind of words usually come out of your mouth? If you were to depict their effect in relation to Ephesians 4:29, do they build up the temple of God? Or do they break her beams? Or, in relation to what my seminary friend shared, do they inflate someone’s tires to get them rolling, or deflate them into defeated paralysis? You are called to inflate, rather than deflate, with what and how you speak.
Now, this does not exclude reproof and correction with what God says (2 Tim. 3:16-17), but there is a wise way of going about it, as Proverb 15:1 will instruct us.
Speak life, beloved, so that those around you don’t end up looking like my children’s Sponge Bob ball above (we do absorb everything said to us, perhaps especially what deflates, don’t we?).