Monday, October 02, 2006


By: Zach Wood

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only
what is helpful for building other up according to their needs, that
it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

We all have made bad choices in things we've bought. Some items,
after they've been opened, cannot be returned, but most things do
have a return policy on them. If you simply don't like it, have
changed your mind and want something else or if it's defective, you
can return or exchange for the desired item instead. You made a
choice, but you're able to take it back and have a different item in return.

Too bad our words can't be returned or exchanged for something we
would have preferred to say. We have all said things to friends,
family and others we love and care about that we regret saying. Once
the word is out of our mouths, that's it! No getting it back! The
words have already either built someone up or completely torn them
apart. We've all been the victim or have been the perpetrator and
it's no fun. When we're angry or resentful toward someone, we have
the burn inside to share some choice words we usually are not clearly
thinking about. There's a song by the Contemporary Christian Band,
Third Day, "Nothin' At All", which says that if you can't say
anything good then don't say anything at all. It's so tempting to
hurl words out when they come to our minds cause we want to state how we feel.

Now, I'm not saying that there's never a time to criticize or firmly
and lovingly confront and make known a problem that someone has
caused you. However, we are to think very carefully about our words
and ask God for the direction and wisdom in what to say. Have you
heard the saying, "The tongue is practically weightless, yet so few
can hold it"? This statement rings very true and we need to be
certain that the words coming from our mouths are either building
people up for the Kingdom or that they are lovingly and prayerfully
confronting and helping someone become a better follower of Jesus Christ.

I write this devotional as someone who is not always good with
words. I can get angry or frustrated and forget how much my words
can really pierce and forever scar another heart of my brothers and
sisters in Christ. Our words need to always be wholesome, whether
we're praising and affirming or whether we're confronting in loving criticism.

Remember, no refunds, returns or exchanges with our words. Once
they're out the mouth, they've done the damage or they've encouraged
and built someone up better. Which do you prefer to do? I pray that
you and I would both consider choice words which are beneficial and loving.

Shared by Joe Gatuslao
Bacolod City, Philippines


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