“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)
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he gives us the above advice–words we’ve no doubt heard many times before.
When I read these instructions again recently, I was in a pretty bad place. Emotionally I was really struggling and I knew that because I was finding it hard to just make it through each day, I was less tolerant of other people around me and quicker to be critical, or thoughtless in my responses to them.
I guess you could say that this verse really hit home.
I know that I can be hard to be around when I go through those times where the chronic part of chronic pain, really gets me down. When I find myself overwhelmed by my circumstances and wondering how I’m going to keep on doing this, when it’s so hard.
Those around me, may not be able to understand what I’m going through, or may not even be aware that I’m struggling–so the rude, critical, or offhand responses I make, may seem hurtful.
This passage goes on to say the following things:
“Be kind and compassionate. . . Be imitators of God. . . live a live of love.” (Ephesians 4:32 5:1-2)
That’s hardly how I’ve felt towards others–I’m ashamed to say. I know I fall short of that behaviour so many times.
I’ve often said that it appears God has chosen not to heal me now, but He has given me the grace to go on living with my pain. Only by God’s grace can I go on facing each day and only with His help can every word, thought and act–be love.
Prayer: Father, may the words I speak, be helpful, not hurtful to others and may my behaviour be something to point others towards You, not turn them away. I acknowledge that I can’t do this alone, I daily need your help. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful for the difference God makes in her life, and the lessons He is teaching her, as she lives with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to travel when she is able. You can contact her in the Sunroom.
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Have there been times when you have said or done things that have turned others away from God? How do you stop that from happening?