Speak Life to People Around You
By Greg Sanders
Ephesians 4:29 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.
Did you know it takes absolutely no spiritual insight to spot a problem? At times people believe they are actually helping people by pointing out their flaws. I used to think that I had the gift of discernment because I was so good at spotting problems. One day my pastor told me, “Greg, it takes no spirituality to spot problems, even a nonbeliever can see problems.” That really dealt a blow to my ego. Real discernment is the gift to find solutions. Most people who I have met are keenly aware of their shortcomings and weakness. What does take spiritual insight is speaking life into people when they are overcome by life. Ephesians reminds us that we must test that something is both true and helpful.
You have the power to speak life into the people around you. This scripture gives us three ways to make sure what you say breeds life.
- Make sure that what you say is true. If what you say is not true then it cannot be wholesome. If it is not true then it will not provide lasting life. You may lie to someone and make them feel better for the moment, but you have not offered them any real solution. When you speak to people always offer the truth soaked in love.
- Make sure that what you say is helpful. Jest because something is true does not make it helpful. Stating the obvious is not always helpful. To decide what is helpful ask this question: “If I was in this person’s shoes, what would I need to hear?”
- Make sure that what you say is beneficial to their needs. How do you do that? Listen. Make sure the question you are answering is the question they are asking. There is no need in giving someone encouraging words about money if what they’re dealing with is sickness. Don’t assume you know what they are facing. Listen.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t just react when you see or hear problems. Ask the Lord to give
you the words to say so that you can speak life into the lives around you.