"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."
I love this verse. It's one I posted in my classroom and had the students memorize back when I taught at a Christian elementary school. This ended up being our main classroom rule. Really. Since most of the problems ten year-olds face at school come down to the words they say and are told, this verse really covers a lot. This, and "do to others what you would have them do to you" from Matthew 7:12 pretty much covers it all, don't you think?
I am working on learning more Scripture. We are also starting to repeat verses to Pumpkin since he's such a sponge right now. I'd rather hear him reciting the words of God than lines from his random story books. (I am soooo tired of "tractor tipping!" six hundred times a day, but I digress.)
What I love about both of these verses is that they encourage and admonish us to more. It's not just about not saying or doing mean things. It's about, instead, what should be replacing those mean words, thoughts, and actions. We are not to just be silent and still. It's not about, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." While a good idea, it doesn't go far enough. We are to be building one another up and benefiting those who hear us. We are to be doing the things, serving others, that we wish someone else would do to or for us.
So, today, and everyday, I am encouraging you, but not only you, myself as well, to speak the words and put into action those things that will encourage those around us. We can start with our families. Think of all they hear us say! Start there. Let's not just try to not nag one another, but instead to speak in kindness. And let's not stop there. Maybe there is something we can do, a simple chore, that maybe someone else's responsibility, that we can just take a few moments to do as a way to serve that person. Who knows? Maybe it will lead others to follow in example. Maybe not, but either way, we will be doing what we who follow Christ are to be doing everyday.
I am sure that to some of you this will seem silly, or is simply something you already do without thinking because that's just who you are, or who you have become. Great! I just know that when I was reading the other day this is the verse that spoke to my heart. I've been trying to control what I say and sometimes consider it a victory to have just remained silent when I've sooo wanted to just lash out, but what I've seen is that I need to do more. I need to speak words of love and kindness and encouragement. Not what I'd want to hear, but what is "according to their needs".
Blessings to you this day!