Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mid-Week Message - An Admonition

"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)

I love to read.  Immersing myself in a really good book has brought me joy since I learned to read.  It has been a pathway to other worlds and I have taken part in adventures that I would never have dreamed of on my own.  So many characters of literature have become pieces of my memory and heart.  How I admire authors who can weave the tales that draw me in to the point that I feel as if I was a participant in the scenes that unfold. 

As I have grown older I find that I am much more selective in what I choose to engage my mind.  I long for the stories that are told in a wholesome way, lacking the crude expletives that seem to be so  abundant in what is spoken these days.  I simply don't understand, with the vast selection of words available, why it is necessary to choose such vile expressions.  Words, written or spoken, carry power.  

As I was considering this article and thinking of the verse above, a simple thought came to mind.  Jesus is Jesus all the time.  When He walked on this earth there was never a time when He was anything less than the Son of God.  He didn't present Himself one way to strangers and another to His family or friends.  Nor did he act one way on Sunday and another on Monday.  He spoke, and lived, truth.  He was genuine.  Always.  

Sadly, we don't see that as often as we should.  Too many wear a Christian mask in public but behind closed doors become someone else entirely.  Swearing and cursing are rampant in our society, even among many who claim to be followers of Jesus.  Unwholesome talk fills our movies and our books but also our workplaces and our schools.  It debases our morality and ruins how others view us.  How can we ever expect to win others to Christ when we portray the world?

Just as Jesus is Jesus all the time, so we are responsible for being Christians all the time, if, in fact, we have been cleansed by His blood and become His disciples.  We need to ask the Lord to help us walk and talk in ways that please Him and that edify others.   Our words, written or spoken, should be chosen wisely because we represent Almighty God and we may never know whose life is being impacted by our presence.  The seeds we sow, good or bad, matter.  Both in public and in our homes.  

Simply, our time on earth is not given to us to "fit in."  We should be the anomaly rather than the norm.  Our lives are brief and we may only have today to make an impact on the lives around us.  Do we want to be remembered for sharing the Lord's love and speaking encouragement or as ones who professed to be Christians but showed little or no fruit that it was true?  May the Father open our eyes and ears this week and lead us in the way we should go.  God bless.

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