“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another.” 1 Thess 5:11
Not long ago I was at church and someone said to me “My husband and I were just saying that your hair doesn’t look good like that”. I had to laugh. Sometimes our words can be very blunt and they tear down and discourage one another. The hair comment was a very obvious example. But what about the less obvious ways that we tear down??
1) We are critical. Sometimes we dont even realize that we are. We point out better ways to accomplish things. We find fault with the ways that other people are doing things. Ladies, it is so discouraging to be on the receiving end of this. My husband is the principal at a private school. I cant tell you how often parents complain that things are not done or handled the way that they want them to be. I am all for being constructive, giving ideas, or making suggestions. But we must learn to be careful how we present them to others. The presentation is KEY!! When we go to one another in love and make a suggestion, we cant go wrong. It’s when we go to one another with pride in our hearts, that is when problems begin to arise.
2) We are judgmental. I hate that word. I really do. I hate it because I hear it too often in the lives of Christians when they are confronted by someone who is trying to gracefully speak to them about sin in their lives. The usual response is “you are judging me.” Now, let’s understand that there is a major difference here. There is a way of speaking to one another in love in order to win your brother or sister back to the Lord, and confront them of their sins, and this is what the Bible calls us to do. And there is judgement towards what someone else is doing, (see Luke 18:11) when the Pharisee thanks God that he is not like the tax collectors. Ladies, we are guilty of getting too involved in the affairs of other people and judging their lives.
3) We make facial expressions that we need to get slapped for. Just joking. But it’s true. I have watched women, young girls, and little girls, make faces that should be outlawed. Men dont do this. I dont know why, but I have never seen a man do this. Let me give you an example…..A few days ago I watched a young girl talking to her friends about her new curling iron, when she asked her friends if they liked her hair, they responded with yes, but one girl put her eye brows up, and scrunched up her nose as if a skunk had just sprayed her in the face. Really. I saw the entire countenance of her friend change in an instant when she saw this girl’s face. That is what what girls do in order to be “innocent.” We dont say a word, so we think that we are innocent of saying something mean or degrading. But we dont need to say a word to be mean or degrading. Our facial expressions say it all, they reveal the attitudes of our hearts.
4) We are not edifying. Ladies, our speech needs to encourage others. It should build up our friends, our family, and our spouses. It should point people to our loving Savior, and it should represent who He is. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” I pray that our hearts would be filled with Jesus, and He would be what we speak about. I pray that as we read His Word, it would fill our hearts, and we would speak of it. Fill yourself of the things of God, and those will be the things that come out of your life.
Ladies, our words have the ability to build up or tear down. I pray that we would have a filter on our hearts and our mouths. That God would fill us with Himself, and that our Words would always represent that character and love of our Heavenly Father.