“Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4: 29, Good News Translation)
It may seem easy and natural at times to use words that are either defensive or accusatory. We might not recognize the harm we may be doing with the words we choose. Or we may speak in ways or with a tone that is not constructive or helpful, that only creates more trouble rather than easing it.
Let’s recognize that we do truly want to bring harmony to the world and to others. Our true nature wants to do good, and to feel that good as well. So, we must be awake to our behavior, including what we say. We surely don’t need to condemn ourselves if every word isn’t full of sugar and sweetness. In fact, to be inauthentically nice does not bring to others what is most healing either.
But we can pause long enough to feel that desire within to help and our innate sense of love and compassion. We can listen to God’s voice within us, which leads us with intelligence as well as kindness and grace and wisdom.
And then our words feel genuine as well as good. They reach others in a way that builds them up, rather than tearing them down or belittling their ideas. We can provide what is most needed by listening to what God, Love, would say to His own children (including ourselves) and sharing those ideas with others in our own unique way.
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