by Dave Pennington, Elder

I take it back!

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearer". Ephesians 4:29

I am quite sure that all of us have said things that we wish we could take back. In the Epistle of James Chapter Three we read how the tongue is the most unruly member of the body! Boy-oh-boy - do I know it! This has been a key focus in my faith walk for many, many years.

I pray hard about it and work through self-assessment. If Teresa and I are at a social event together, I’ll ask when we get home “did I say anything wrong?” I find myself sitting in I-66 traffic daily on my way home from work, thinking about different scenarios during the day, recalling the words I spoke, usually leading me to repentance and in some cases reconciliation the next day. Ugh!

Evil communication can be captured in a lot of areas. It is cussing but it may also be fussing. It is crass and rash talking but it can also be trash talking. I struggle with what I call a “rear-up” syndrome where I feel like I just have to get my word in! This usually leads to rude interruption and prideful dominance in conversation. Gossip, lying and the list goes on of corrupt communication is often mean spirited, demeaning and will always tear down vice build up.

Living out the call in Ephesians 4:29 is a constant battle. I have a few quick tips that I have found helpful:

1. Be Quiet (I Thessalonians 4:11) The word of God says to “study” to be quiet. 

    It is intentional – it takes conscientious effort.

2. Be Deliberate (Proverbs 29:20 and Proverbs 18:13) Pause before you speak. 

    Try not to be hasty. Less is better with concise, thought out words.

3. Always Be Gentle (Proverbs 15:4) Let the end game be encouragement and edification.

Heavenly Father – You tell us that our mouths speak from the abundance of our heart. Clean us from the inside out. With our heart focus on You Lord – help us and guide us in our conversation each and every moment of each and every day.