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 NIV
An egregious character flaw I inflicted on others for years was a critical, judgmental attitude. As an editor I once wrote a series of news stories and editorials largely responsible for the landslide defeat of a county commissioner in Alabama.
During my recovery years God led me to Ephesians 4:29. The operative word for me is “any“. He also revealed that my prominent spiritual gift is encouragement. In other words my speech, my replies, my chit chat, my emails, my conversations, my teaching, my writing all need to be helpful for building others up according to their needs. . . .ooops!
And benefit them. . .ooops!
I struggle with that flaw every day. My pastor told me recently he wanted me to write a principle in my Bible regarding it. I opened my Bible and he said, “Write this down: ‘Think before you speak.’ “
I’m learning to count to seven before I say something when I’m upset or frustrated. It’s working. Many times. Sometimes I don’t count and blurt something out. At times, when I’m listening, the Holy Spirit calls this verse to mind and I avert a response I’ll regret.
I’m an encouraging person by nature, so when this flaw raises its ugly head it hurts my heart.
Ephesians 4:29 is a life verse for me now. You can borrow it if you want. You can even use it yourself any time you need to.