Brennan Manning said, "In every encounter we either give life or drain it." I think that mostly happens through the words that we use.
The average person says around 16,000 words everyday. And new studies also show that by the time today's teenagers become senior citizens, they will have sent around 2 million words through text messages.
In the United States we have freedom of speech. It's written into the first amendment of our Constitution. We have the right to say what we want, when we want. But rights come with responsibility. Freedom of speech is a great privilege that we have, but if you abuse that privilege it can get you into trouble.
Think about it:
What if you really said exactly what you wanted to say, whenever you wanted to say it...
to everyone about everything?
You probably wouldn't have any friends!
I want to highlight just one verse in the Bible. If you do what it says, it will save you from a lot of problems when it comes to your relationships. But it won't just save you from problems; it will make your relationships better.
The verse is in the New Testament, in the letter to the Ephesians.
There was a church in the ancient city of Ephesus, and even though you've probably never heard of that city, when a missionary named Paul wrote this letter to the church there, that city was kind of a big deal.
The Christians there were pretty new in their faith, and there was a lot of pressure on them to just give in, give up, and live like everyone else. How could they set themselves apart in the city?
Paul tells them:
"Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift" (Ephesians 4:29 MSG).
This is huge. Paul is saying, "Those of you who follow Jesus need to think before you speak. Say what is helpful. Say things that bring out the best in other people. Your words are powerful. Don't waste them. Make each word a gift."
The question isn't Can you say it?
The question is Should you say it?
You're free to say whatever you want, but some things are more helpful than others. Use your freedom of speech to give life, not drain it.
The Power of Words
Words that Wound
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