The Use of our Words
“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
We use words to communicate in our every day life. Using words allows us to have relationships with other people by interacting in a variety of different conversations. It allows us to operate in our daily lives as we go out into different parts of the world and it allows us to pray and worship our amazing God. Our tongue, which forms our words, is an enormous asset, and as you can imagine, all words that come from our mouth are VERY important.
I recently traveled to South Africa for missions. I learned a lot about how different the African culture is from our own, but God used one thing specifically to speak to my heart. In their culture they are not familiar with what “sarcasm” is. I was told that when Americans come in and interact with the people they use sarcasm and to the Africans it comes across as rude and even mean.
Because sarcasm is so prevalent in our society, we may not even know when we use it. We may even justify it as just a joke or just messing around. Either way if it’s not communicating LOVE, then you shouldn’t say it……period.
Hearing that made me take a step back and look at how I use my words. Can I tell you something? I USE SARCASM MORE THAN I EVEN REALIZED! We have to remember that we don’t know what people have been through, and we should make sure we are always conscientious of how we speak. Someone could have been verbally abused in their past, which may have included sarcasm, and we may have just added to the hurt and made a wound deeper. It may even be that the person using sarcasm is the one who has the wounds from verbal abuse and uses sarcasm to cope with it. Whatever the case, when you speak, speak with love, joke with love, kid around in love. You may not realize it, but you could be healing a wound instead of making a wound worse.
God, thank you for experiences that make us aware what we can improve on. Thank you for the blessing of being able to communicate. I pray that with every conversation, with every word, love is being communicated. I also ask you to open my eyes to see if there is any area of communication that needs to be changed. Amen.