Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) ~ 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.
Paul was writing to the church of Ephesus because of how the people were treating each other. Even though some were Christians, they were still saying some bad words and some unkind things to and about each other. Paul was telling them what God told him to say.
This verse applies to all of us today as well. God’s Word is timeless..and it is Truth.
Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to the author of a book called Silver Boxes. Her name is Florence Littauer, and she spoke at a church here where I live. The book is fantastic and I highly recommend it!
Silver Boxes is based on the verse : Ephesians 4:29. I want to share the poem that is in the front of her book. It’s kind of long, so hang with me.
My words were harsh and hasty and they came without a thought.
Then I saw the pain and anguish that my bitter words had brought.
Bitter words that I had spoken made me think back through the past;
Of how many times I’d uttered biting words whose pain would last.
Then I wondered of the people I had hurt by things I’d said;
All the ones I had discouraged when I didn’t use my head.
Then I thought about my own life, of painful words I’ve heard;
And of the times I’d been discouraged by a sharp and cruel word.
And now clearly I remember, all the things I might have done;
But, by a word I was discouraged and they never were begun.
Lord, help my words be silver boxes, neatly wrapped up with a bow;
That I give to all so freely, as through each day I gladly go.
Silver boxes full of treasure, precious gifts from God above;
That all the people I encounter might have a box of God’s own love.
Written by: Michael Bright 1989
Pretty powerful, huh? How true… We all have hurt others with words, be it intentional or not. We all have been hurt by words, be it intentional or not. What if, though, we ALL chose to be INTENTIONAL about taking Ephesians 4:29 to heart.
I encourage you to print this out and keep it as a reminder. Read the verse daily. Read the poem daily. I am going to make it a point to do it as well.
It is so easy to let a word slip from our mouths that can discourage or hurt someone. I don’t want to be that person ever again. Do you? I am sure your answer is NO as well. We all know how it feels to be hurt by words. Yes, it’s also true that once spoken, they can’t be taken back. Don’t let that discourage you though. God is merciful and forgiving and He allows us to admit our faults and start over!
I want my home to be a haven. A place of peace. That is how it should be. Is it always? No, unfortunately not. See, even in the place that should be the safest (our homes), there are words that are spoken sometimes that hurt or discourage. When kids are fussing or when husbands and wives are fussing, words are often weapons. They shouldn’t be. They should be used ONLY for building up…not tearing down.
As God put this on my heart to share with all of you, He also put it on my heart to share with my little family as well. So, I am going to do a devotion time with my family on this specific verse..for me, for them and for everyone else that any of us will encounter in our lives. This one verse, if applied to your life, can change everything. My hope is that each one of you reading this, will be inspired to do the same.
In Chapter 1 of the book Silver Boxes, Frances Littauer says: “What a beautiful thought! Our words should be gifts to each other, little silver boxes with bows on top.”
There is power in words. Power to heal. Power to help. Power to encourage. Power to build up. Unfortunately, there is also Power in words to destroy, tear down, hurt, and discourage. My heart desires to be an encourager…another reason I began this blog. However, my words are not always words of encouragement. Have I said things in the past that hurt others? Yes. Am I proud of that? No…in fact when I think back on times that my words have been hurtful, I am ashamed. God forgives though and HE forgets! That is amazing LOVE my friends. That is the same kind of love that Christians are called to extend to others..even the ones that have hurt us with words.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) ~ Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Maybe it isn’t just time to watch the words that come out of our mouths. Maybe it is also time to forgive. Maybe it is time to ask for forgiveness.
Blessings to you all. My prayer for each one of you that reads this, is for you to take this and apply it and see the blessings flow because of it. Not because I said to do it…but because God instructs us all to do it..to take Ephesians 4:29 to heart.
Until Next Time,