Read Ephesians 4:25-32
One of the first Disney movies I remember watching was Bambi. Bambi’s friend is Thumper, a bunny, who loves to do what feels good in the moment. He eats the blossoms off the clover in the fields and leaves the “healthy” green leaves and stem. Thumper also has trouble with his words and repeats, with embarrassment, what he learned the hard way. “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!”
Sometimes we do need to say something, so let’s be reminded what the inspired Word of God directs to do, so we can walk in truth. When we have sticky relational problems and blurt out the “obvious” and ignore the healthy steps outlined in this passage, it gets messy and ugly.
Ephesians 4-6 are great chapters to model in our church and family lives. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 4:29 to 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.”
First, I need to listen to truth from these passages and apply them.
- Put off the old self and be made new in the attitude of our minds. (Eph. 4: 22-24)
- In our anger, do not sin and give the devil a foothold. (Eph. 4:26-27)
- Be kind and compassionate just as Christ has been with us. (Eph. 4:32-5:2)
Secondly, I need to be careful in my relationships. In my mind I can process what a “helpful and beneficial” conversation should look like. It is clear what my intent is. The listener will understand my intent and follow the obvious plan laid out so that there is a peaceful and productive result in their life. The problem is that there are so many more variables! It can take a lot of time and energy to work through the process of knowing what the need is and how to build the person up. Patience and wisdom are needed, and those come from the Holy Spirit who works powerfully in and through us, when we let Him.
Praying for my interactions with others, waiting on the Spirit’s timing and following these principles in scripture can help me to keep “my big mouth” in check.
Let’s keep in step with the Spirit today!