I like to talk. When I was in kindergarten, I typically got in trouble for sitting on my desk after I was finished with my work and jabbering away. I can also vividly remember having to sit in the hallway on the first day of school every year until 5th grade because of my blabber mouth. I finally learned how to get my business under control in 5th grade, I guess.
Now, one of my favorite things is sitting around a dinner or coffee table and having long conversations that lose all sense of time.
I like to talk.
I’m also living in a time when everyone likes to talk and loves sharing their opinion on any and every matter they can. Everyone has a voice, and I don’t want to dismiss that, but I’m also a little concerned that we don’t fully understand the weight of our words.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
As Christians, I think we love to use this verse to shut down potty mouths. It’s simple to point to the first portion of this verse and remind those around us that we shouldn’t be cussing or tearing others down with our words, which I completely agree with.
But I think we’ve lost the last part. I think we’ve lost grace in our words. I don’t think we try to speak in such a way that our words give grace to those who hear.
When you ask me about my dating status, I tell you I’m still single, and you answer with, “Oh what a bummer.” – that isn’t giving me grace.
When you ask me about marriage and I say, “Yeah, this season is really hard because I desire marriage and a family and I’m just struggling right now,” and you reply with, “Well, it’ll happen in God’s timing.” – that isn’t giving me grace.
Be okay with my singleness when I’m okay with it. Be a little bummed with me when I’m bummed about it. Don’t dismiss my feelings, but rather speak grace into my life.
Our words are powerful. Our reactions to situations and seasons in life mean something to those around us. As followers of Jesus we carry grace with us in our voices.
I know that I’ve not always used my words to give grace to those who hear, but I know that’s what I’m called to. I’m called to speak grace. And what an opportunity we have to build those around us up, speak life, truth, and grace into this world, and maybe, just maybe, show people Jesus with our words.
*watch Kristen & JT play Secret Word here!