graphic compliments of www.penniwigs.blogspot.com
The two grandkids I babysit regularly and I have been singing the children's Sunday School song, "Be careful little eyes, what you see" this week. In case you don't know it, it goes like this:
Then the other verses are little ears, what you hear, little feet, where you go, little hands, what you do, etc.
The Bible verse that has been on my mind a lot lately ties in. It is this one:
"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." Ephesians 4:29
Dictionary definitions of the word "unwholesome" include "detrimental to mental, physical, or moral well-being". When I was growing up, the kids in our neighborhood used to yell these words back and forth, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Well, we all know what a lie that is, and hopefully we try not to hurt others with our words.
But what about the rest of the verse? We are to say "only" those things that are helpful for building others up according to...what? THEIR NEEDS??? Our words are supposed to be of benefit to others.
I know I have failed many, many times in my life and have both intentionally and unintentionally disobeyed this scriptural admonition. Since I've been teaching the Sunday School song to my grandchildren, I've been thinking about what it would be like if I actually, very intentionally, tried to speak only wholesome words that would seek to build up the listener according to "their" needs.
The times when it becomes especially difficult are those when someone does or says something that I either strongly disagree with, or is hurtful to me. It's so easy to just let something fly out of my mouth (or off my keyboard!) in defense of my position or feelings. But the fact remains that as a bible-believing Christian, I must own that it is not only possible, but necessary that I need to be careful with words. Words are powerful, and they have meaning. Oh be careful little mouth what you say!