Monday, March 2, 2009

Edifying Speech

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 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. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
(Ephesians 4:17-32)
In the passage above, Paul compares two lives: the old and the new. One is the life we had before we were in Christ; the second is the life we now live through Christ. This thought really puts the rest of the passage into perspective for me. A lost person cannot truly follow these guidelines because they are the work of "renewal in the spirit of your mind." Our new self is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness, so this is what will happen in our new lives. We will
  • Put off lying
  • Put on truth-speaking
  • Put off sinful anger
  • Put on Spirit-control/self-control
  • Put off stealing
  • Put on diligence
  • Put off hurtful speech
  • Put on edifying speech
  • Put off bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice
  • Put on kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness

It's so easy to fail in the area of putting off/putting on. Even last night I made an unkind comment at the dinner table about another girl. Those things just don't need to be said! My heartfelt desire is to never ever say anything negative about anyone, ever, if I can help it ("so far as it depends on you...") That includes gossiping about one sister to another, or about one girl friend to another... It's just not necessary!

Today I decided to try an experiment... one that I've already failed in, but have picked myself up to try again... to not say a single unkind word about anyone today. I'd like to try for tomorrow too. I want to make edifying speech a habit in my life. I'd like it to be said of me, as it was said of Eric Liddell, "I never heard him [her, in my case] say a bad word about anybody." Do you want to join me in this experiment?


Each person you know was, like you, made in the image of God, is loved by God, and Jesus died for that person. If you have this perspective, you will not be so ready to speak ill of them.


Leahna said...

DO I? (want to join you in your expirement)

Of course I do1 I know it was more of a rhetorical ? since all believers are to live in the Spirit. :)

But yes, I want to be as the woman pictured in Proverbs 31 "In her tongue is the law of kindness."

Pure Little Ladies Ministry said...

Way awesome post!! Something I need to work on, too. =S

Oh, and you haven't responded to my e-mail concerning articles for the TT...if you could reply to that as soon as you can, then I can know what to work on for it.

Anyhow, have a wonderful day!! I'm off to my bed...sick with a cold, and a mound of Etymology to do. =S lol!!


Alaina said...

I'll join you! It's a very good challenge...though definitely a challenge. Isn't it good that the Lord gives us strength to keep His commands?

Rosebud said...

I can but try, at least!

Anderson family said...

That was very convicting Melanie...yes, I will join in the expirement 100% for the test but I will at least try!!:)-bethany