Friday, June 8

Others-centered conversations

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 7-9, Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.  

Observation

Paul is writing a list of ethical and behavioral commands for Jesus-followers.  These commands are descriptive of our new life in Christ.  This one is about our speech, what comes out of our mouths, our conversations with others.  He gives three qualifications for good conversation:

1. No foul language. 

2. Say what is good for building up others in need.

3. Say what gives grace to the hearers.

Application

What struck me is how others-centered this is (and how self-centered my speech can be).  Often, I plan my words based on how they will make me look, or how it will affect others’ opinion of me.  It’s about image management.  It’s selfish.  But this is a different motivation altogether.  This is about the other person, not me.  It’s about building them up, meeting their need, giving them grace.  Imagine how my conversations would be transformed if I approached each one with these values.

How can I build you up?

How can I meet your need?

How can I give you grace?

Prayer: Lord, You said that our words flow from our hearts.  So change my heart from selfish to others-centered—to love, which does what is best for others.