May 27: Words, a.d. Style

Read Ephesians 4:17-32

We are now living in the year 2014 a.d.  The “a.d.” part is an abbreviation of the Latin “Anno Domini” or “year of the Lord.”  Meanwhile, as you know, “b.c.” stands for “before Christ.”  It is interesting that even our dating system is reflective of Christ’s presence/absence.

Paul, in his writing in Ephesians 4, encourages believers to recognize the “b.c.” and “a.d.” aspects of our personal lives.  Our lives lived “before Christ” was characterized by an “old self,” a “former manner of life,” and by “corruption” (v. 22).  But now that we are living “in the Lord,” we have a “new self.”  Since our encounter with Christ at salvation, your life is to be lived differently.

Your communication is one of many things impacted by flip of the calendar in your personal life from b.c. to a.d.  You are learning this week that your words, though seemingly small and insignificant, have a huge impact on others.  Of course, God recognizes that and wants to leverage the power of the terms you say, the time you express them, and the tone you use for His glory.  All of that will sound different for you now as a Christ follower.

In particular, you saw here how your words are to now be truthful (v. 25).  Lies and deceit are to be a thing of the past.  You should clearly and accurately communicate with others without leading them to believe something that is not true.

How do you typically respond when angry?  While anger can, at times, be an appropriate response, your expression of it should never cross over into sin.  When your temperature rises, watch that your tone remains caring and gentle, your volume doesn’t go off the charts, and you don’t attack people.

Your words should be characterized by “edification.”  That means you will actively seek to build others up rather than tear them down.  As you interact with others, be intentional in giving them reason to look up rather than be downcast.

In your a.d. life, these are just some of the responses that should characterize your speech.  What personal tendencies did you recognize today that God would want to see changed?