Ephesians 4:29 — Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (NIV).
Okay, so you’ve made the decision not to let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. That’s awesome! Now, since you will speak again at some point, I want to discuss what should come out of your mouth.
The Bible says we should say only what is helpful for building others up. There are some people who could make a pretty good living if tearing down others was a paying job. The vast majority of people can think of plenty of negative things to say, but it’s often difficult for them to come up with anything nice. Ask yourself this question, “Is it hard for me to say something positive about certain people?” If you answered yes, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see people the way He sees them.
After you’ve purposed to speak positively about others, pay careful attention to how the rest of this verse reads. We are to build others up according to their needs. Notice it does not say we are to build others up according to what we think they need.
This is difficult for someone who has the need to “fix” others. Many people are masters at pointing out what they think is wrong with someone else, and then they try to tell the person how to fix his problem. Doing so does not help build the person up. In fact, handling people this way can do quite the opposite.
Make it a point to be sensitive to the needs of those around you, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you raise them up. Your words should benefit those who listen, even if what you say doesn’t bring you any benefit personally. I pray you will not take this challenge lightly. As you make an effort to change, I believe God will begin using your tongue to rebuild the lives of others.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 — Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing (NIV).
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