Closing the Gap 5.7.18

Week 18 “Speak Truth to One Another”

Day 1

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:

Paul exhorts us to not allow any unwholesome talk out of our mouths.  James, on the other hand, warns that only a perfect man will never be at fault in what he says (James 3:2). What are we to do?  We cannot be perfect, yet we must always speak in helpful ways. James’ point was primarily that words originate in the heart, not in the vocal cords.  Paul would agree with James. That’s why Paul writes: “put off falsehood, speak truthfully, and do not let unwholesome words out of your mouth.” The implication is that we choose our words.  They do not just “come out”; we have to let them out.  You have operational control over your words because you have a choice in what is happening to your heart. If your words are not truthful and helpful and designed to bless others, then you must begin with an examination of the heart, not the tongue.  Perhaps you have habitualized unwholesome talk. Have half-truths, exaggerations, complaining, and criticizing become reflexive for you? First, you must decide who it is that you want to be. Do you want to be the person who leaves others better off after having been with you?  Do you want to leave others hopeful and encouraged because they have been touched by your words? If you want to be (or become) this type of person, then you must begin to build habits into your heart that will find their way to your tongue. You can do this!  Many people have leveraged new heart habits into wholesome talk.  Wholesome words are words that leave people “whole.” Their souls are refreshed by their interaction with you.  The world needs more people like this. You can be one of them. Peter cast this compelling vision, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God” (1 Peter 4:11).  Take that vision to heart and, then, let that vision out of your mouth for the glory of God and the good of others.

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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