“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9
There’s not too many things that hurt more than criticism. I am not talking about constructive criticism or coming along side a person to help in their weaknesses or failures. I am talking about words that ripped apart the soul of another. Words that speak destruction and do nothing but tear down. Words that point out failures and weakness.
Too many times we speak words that are just unkind and hurtful. We speak words that don’t need to be spoken. I have been praying about my words. I want my words to be a blessing, to build up and offer grace.
I keep thinking what if we…
told our pastor how much we learned from his sermon instead of what we didn’t like about it.
thanked the worship leader/team for the time they put into leading instead of complaining about the songs.
shared with our child’s Sunday School teacher how much we appreciate the time they invest in our children.
thanked those volunteering in the nursery.
encouraged our elders, deacons and leaders instead of complaining about what they aren’t doing that we think they should be.
gave a smile or hug to that person who looks down?
thanked the pastors family for sharing their husband and dad?
talked to someone we didn’t know this Sunday?
helped that single mom who could use an hour break?
What if we spoke words that blessed instead of destroy?
God has been pressing upon my Spirit lately that I need to speak words of grace to my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those in leadership. I need to speak more words of grace, love, mercy and encouragement.
Couldn’t we all use a bit more encouragement? Who might God be asking you to encourage? Where might your words need to be words of blessings instead of destruction?
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear…. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:29 & 32
Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici,