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Build Up, Don’t Tear Down

Words have power.  No, they cannot break bones.  But they have power.  A word well placed can soothe anger, it can create good will, and it can provide comfort.  A careless word can cause much destruction. It should be no surprise then that the Scriptures speak to how we are to use our words.

One such section is Ephesians:

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 (4:29).

Here we have a contrast between unwholesome talk and words which build up.  With this contrast it seems that unwholesome talk would refer to the type of talk which destroys and doesn’t edify.  Paul is wanting us to live as new men (4:23, 24).  Part of this new conduct should be a change in how we use our words.

So the challenge today, use your words to build others up , not tear them down.

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  1. I’m not sure where I head this but here goes: “A father answered his son when the son asked about how words can be painful, even years later. He said to his son to take a box of nails and each day hammer them into their wooden fence, so the son did and after hammering in 20 nails or so he showed his father. Then his father said to remove all of them and be careful. His son did so and showed his father. His father told his son that he did a great job but to look at the fence and see the holes from the nails. The father said each time someone uses a word to inflict pain on someone even though they apologized, the hole was visable and ugly. He went on to say that “being sorry” was good but it was better to not cause the “Wounds” aka, “holes in the fence.” The son understood.

  2. Thanks for this really applicable devotion…especially for me today. I think the tongue is the hardest thing to control, because what you might think is a word of encouragement may be an insult to others.

  3. Wesley

    November 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing the illustration Frederick.

    James would agree with you on the difficulty of the tongue Ben.

  4. Do you have a book out? And if you don’t you shouls

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