Closing the Gap 5.11.18

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Week 18 “Speak Truth to One Another”

Day 5

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

29 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.

Reflect:

C.S. Lewis said, “Sarcasm is the language of the devil.”  This doesn’t mean there is never a place for sarcasm as a type of speech, but it does mean that it is very often destructive in people’s lives.  “Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only joking!’ ” (Pr. 26:18-19). Sarcasm is often like shooting someone with a painful arrow and then claiming, “I was just kidding.”  Using words as a weapon is never a joke. Words are tools and raw materials that should be used to “build” others up. There is a place for joking and laughing; in fact, humor is a key component of human resiliency and healthy relationships.  However, the humor that is a tool leaves people refreshed, joyful, and lighter in their spirits.  The humor that is a weapon leaves people tarnished, guilty, and further from God.  What is “unwholesome” talk? It is speech that tears down instead of building up.  It could even be a “spiritual conversation,” but if it is transacted in such a way that others are judged, condemned, and unloved, then it was unwholesome.  You are not fully responsible for how others “feel” about your words, although you should care about this. You are, though, fully responsible for the motive of your words.  Why are you saying this? Where is it coming from? Are you speaking words merely because you want to speak them or mainly because others need to hear them? People don’t need to hear your words because they are so impressive, but because God wants to speak encouragement to them through you.  This is an awesome privilege and responsibility. Speak in a way that moves people towards God. The “pull” of your words should not be that others are impressed with you, but that they are drawn to God. Is speaking in this way beyond you? Is it too much to ask? Not at all! God will help you, but you must decide to put his help into regular practice.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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