Week 18 “Speak Truth to One Another”
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.
Every word you speak, along with every action you take, is supposed to be “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). This means that your words should represent him well. It is as if Jesus has given you “power of attorney” to speak for him. At the end of your conversation you should be able to sign his name to what you just said. Does that give you pause? It should. Jesus said that we will give account for “every careless word” we speak (Matt. 12:36). This does not mean we should only talk about “spiritual stuff” and we must never engage in small talk. That would be tiresome and unhelpful in relationships. It does mean that words are vitally powerful and important things. The accountability that Jesus refers to is tied to the fact that our words betray our hearts. They “speak” to who we are on the inside. The opportunity to speak to one another is so common that we can lose sight of how powerful and important words are. They originate from our hearts and they can penetrate into the hearts of others. Can you remember specific words spoken to you years ago? Of course, you can. What was the content of those words? Either they cut you down or they built you up. In either case, the power of the words seared them into your memory. But they are not just in your memory; they have ongoing shaping power in your life. The vibrations of the vocal chords pushing sound waves to vibrate your eardrums have long ceased. However, the power of those simple words has not ended; they continue to be a force in your life for good or for ill. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be good at small talk, but remember that even small talk has the power to build others up or tear them down. In all of your talk, big and small, have a big goal…the building up of others for the glory of God. Speak words that Jesus would be happy to sign his name to.
(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.