Recently I was faced with a situation which led to the annulment of an almost fifteen year friendship. You can imagine how painful that was because this was someone I built a bond with and considered a sister. A lot of my personal life (things I won’t casually share) was shared with this person and after all that, the friendship had to come to an end for reasons I prefer not to disclose. However, the pain I was feeling made me so angry and bitter initially. Yes I said angry and bitter. Deep within in me though, I knew that this feeling was not one of God and was bent on getting it out of me. After much prayer, reading and counseling, I was coming along fine. My hearts greatest desire about this entire ordeal, was not to ill-speak this person, though there were many reasons to. What would be the sense of it? What would it profit me? What would it profit the kingdom of God? Absolutely nothing but rather it would cause the issue to fester and bear evil fruits. Most of all, it would cause unforgiveness. So I did what I know to do best, I prayed and told God what I wanted and as usual he answered me through his word. I was led to read Ephesians 4 but the two verses which stood out to me was verses 31 and 32.
Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
There was also an excerpt in my bible which reinforced these verses (See below). God requires our lips to sing praises, uplift and build his Kingdom. Worrying about what people did to you and slandering their names makes absolutely no sense. That is a distraction and distractions are never implemented by God. Though sometimes people may hurt you really bad and you may feel like letting the world know what kind of people they are, use your mouth to genuinely speak blessings into their lives. GENUINELY. Do not bear malice but let God do what needs to be done. Let God carry out his duties by being the righteous judge that he is. LET YOUR LIPS SING PRAISES UNTO THE KING.
Paul’s words admonish us to speak only good, not corrupt, words – ones that build up encourage and edify. Our words are to constitute a gift to the hearer. Jesus and Paul are examples for us in their use of uplifting words to encourage. Even when his ship started to sink, Paul gave words of encouragement. When Jesus disciples were sinking he spoke words of encouragement to them. When Paul was being persecuted, the Lord appeared beside him and encouraged him. Many people are bowed down under heavy emotional loads and are weary of life’s struggle. How eager they are to hear a word of encouragement. Often we turn the other way but the Lord wants to give us kind words to say if we are willing to make ourselves available. In Proverbs, the book of wisdom, much is written about the value of encouraging words. Not only do pleasant words taste sweet but there use can lift us up to high places. Whether we want to be encouragers because Jesus said, “be of good cheer”, because Paul urged us to “take heart” or because we are simply called to lift up the weary, edify the saints and evangelize the lost, whatever our reason for wishing to bring sweetness to the soul, now is the time to start.