What We Need To Hear

Posted on October 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

“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

This verse is often used when warning against gossiping and talking about being careful about what we say. But I think there’s more to it than that. God brought this verse to my mind a couple weeks ago and gave me new insight into it. There’s a part of it that I never really noticed before: “according to their needs.” It’s not just about avoiding gossip and saying positive, uplifting things. We’ve got to take time to think and consider the needs of those around us before we open our mouths. Here’s my personal example: I’m an introvert. Probably always will be.  When I was a kid, I was extremely shy. And as if I didn’t know it, people reminded me of this every single day of my life. Everywhere I went, a ridiculously big deal was made of the fact that I was shy and that’s how I was defined for as long as I can remember. I began to see it as a negative thing and have carried those feelings of inferiority to this very day. I know that people weren’t trying to be mean, but they weren’t thinking about what I needed to hear. As a result, the things said tore me down rather than built me up. Someone that is shy knows it and already feels uncomfortable and unsure of themselves. So do they really need to be constantly put on the spot by calling out the fact that they’re shy and be made to feel even more embarrassed? And I started thinking of other examples. What about a kid who is a bit of a troublemaker? Do they need to hear that all the time? Maybe they’ll begin to think that’s all they can be. Or do they rather need to hear positive things, encouragement, and belief in their potential.

So you see, this verse isn’t just about not being mean, negative, hurtful, etc. Because we aren’t trying to be hurtful when we say a lot of the things we do, but when we don’t take time to know those around us and consider their needs, we can wind up saying some things that can affect them more than we realize. Let’s start thinking about the needs of people and think of things we can say that will encourage them to be all that God has made them to be.

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4 Responses to “What We Need To Hear”

RSS Feed for Trina's Thoughts–From God's Heart to Mine Comments RSS Feed

Amen, sister. I cringe at some of the careless comments I’ve made that probably left the person hurt or torn down. In 6th grade, I had a friend made a careless comment about me having “stumpy legs”. She probably doesn’t remember this at all; I still do. Even though my legs definitely aren’t “stumpy” anymore, I still have problems with my “leg image”. And I hear you about the shy/introvert thing. So many well meaning people have tried to “make” me be more outgoing, as if being “ingoing” (so to speak) is a bad thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reminding me to tame my tongue.

Yeah, I wonder how many of the different kinds of worries we have and issues that we deal with can be traced way back to things people said to us that put us down. Thanks for sharing your experience!! I’ve been trying to think of different examples of this type of thing.

I love that you’ve pointed out an important part to that verse…that we should consider the needs of others. That requires discernment, compassion, and well–love. The greatest–and hardest–commandment of all. My son is shy and I couldn’t agree with you more. No one wants to be defined by one characteristic, and especially one perceived as negative.

Discernment, compassion, and love. I like that! Those things are definitely needed and if we need to take those things into account before we say something to another person, it’s no wonder the Bible says we are to be slow to speak. 🙂


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