Slow to Speak – Part 3
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:25-32
Key Verse: James 1:19
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
The Bible verses that we have been studying are not simply calling for a neutral response from Christ followers. In other words, it is not enough to simply stop using foul or abusive words. The Apostle Paul didn’t stop his thoughts there, but continued: “(speak) only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29b).
How can a Christ follower know what words should be said to build a person up, according to their particular needs? First, we have the Spirit of God living in us, which doesn’t make us perfect in all we say or do, but does help us to be more sensitive to what another person may need to hear. When we slow our reactions down, we can whisper prayers for God’s Spirit to help us respond in Christ like ways that will encourage the person we are interacting with.
Secondly, Jesus taught us that if we simply ask: How would I want to be treated? What words would I want to hear?—we will get our answers in most cases. We call this the Golden Rule for a reason—it really works! We can always get a good answer when we ask this perfect question: What would encourage me? We are all smart enough to know none of us would be encouraged by foul or abusive words. They are never effective ways to communicate. Let’s determine to be good communicators, not making people feel defensive, but accepted. Let’s help people feel encouraged because they have spent a few moments talking to us.
Father, I want to be an encourager of anyone and everyone I talk to today! In Jesus’ name, amen.