June 21, 2012

Helpful Words

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

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


What kinds of words and expressions help bring love, joy, and peace into my life?

First, we must speak words of encouragement. When someone tells me I am doing a good job, that I am on the right track, that I have done something important, their words strengthen me for accomplishing more good things.

Second, sincere compliments build us up. When people say that I gave a wise answer to their question, that my example was an inspiration to them, or that somehow I changed the course of their life, I rejoice in knowing God is at work through me.

Third, thanksgiving must always be a part of our vocabulary. Read the first few verses of the apostle Paul’s letters to churches and individuals. Quite often, after he wishes them grace and peace, he thanks God for them. There were several difficulties Paul wanted to straighten out with the church in Corinth, but he still expressed gratitude for the spiritual gifts they were using. He encouraged them with promises of God’s faithfulness.

Who could use an encouragement, a compliment, a word of thanks from you? Could it be your spouse, child, boss or employee, a government official, a church leader or member, a friend, or perhaps the clerk at the local market? Don’t let this day end without delivering it.

Lord, your Word always builds me up. Help me to speak so that others may benefit and grow in joy and peace. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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