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. (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

When I was a little kid I use to play a game called, “Imagine.” I would imagine myself slaying the dragon, catching the bad guys, rescuing the damsel in distress, and scoring the winning shot. I did all of the things that I’ve never done in real life.

Today, after reading the powerful verse, I played “Imagine” all over again. I saw busy sidewalks full of people encouraging one another on their way to where they were going, I saw hectic office complexes full of people lifting others up with their words, and I saw crowded schools full of kids who really cared when they asked the question, “How are you doing?” For most of us, this kind of environment is as far from reality as my slaying the fiery dragon as a child.

I believe the Lord has shown me why we fail to experience such encouragement in everyday life. Paul says that we are to speak “only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs…” There it is! Most of the time I speak before I ever consider the needs of others. If I am going to live out this command from Scripture then I must become like a scientist peering through his microscope. I need to “study” those that I work with, I need to consider the needs of my family members before I speak, and I need to take the time necessary to understand where my friends are in life so that my words will build them up and benefit them. I’m going to make it my goal today to speak only those things that will benefit those who hear them.

My prayer today, Lord, is that You will remind me of how important it is for me to consider the needs of those You have led into my life before I speak. Use my words to build others up.

Think About It…