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.
In my thirty years on this planet I have found that my words were harmful rather than helpful in far too many situations where I could’ve have responded with gentleness. It’s easy to fall into the trap of badmouthing or complaining about those that have wronged you or that you disagree with or even those that have done nothing against you. I’ve found myself in this situation on many occasions, and I still struggle with this today.
As I think of this verse I realize that the time I have the most trouble is when someone (especially someone in an authoritative role) does something that appears to be without logic, reasoning, or intelligence. In these times I have often found myself sharing my negative feelings about the situation with others. This does nothing to help the situation, and only helps to deteriorate the relationships and role structure present.
I do feel that there is a time and a place to vent frustrations and pains, but it needs to be done in a way that won’t tear down others. I’ve struggled with this in the past, but that’s when I can turn to my writing and other creative outlets. God has granted me a way to vent that (hopefully) will not harm.
I need to find a way to eliminate those negative thoughts, and instead find a new perspective. Instead of looking down on someone or their actions/words it would be better for me to see it as opportunity to learn something new or to discover something about the person. If I disagree it would be better for me to approach them with questions than to avoid them and speak ill.
I hope one day soon I will have eliminated these negative thoughts, but in the meantime I simply need to keep the negative thoughts to myself or share them with God. No other human needs to hear the negativity that I can spew, so it is better for all if I learn to hold my tongue—no matter how much blood I may lose.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for making me the man that I am and giving the chance to figure out the great mystery you’ve laid before me. You have shown me so much beauty, yet there are times I speak only negativity. Lord, please help steer my language to honor you whenever my mouth opens, and teach me to build up the men and women around me even when I have the urge to tear them down.