Taming My Tongue
I’ve been studying Ephesians for a few weeks. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible. Look at some of the phrases—Glorious grace, glorious inheritance, incomparably great power, incomparable riches of His grace, lavished on us—these words depict a generous, loving God.
What about the truths in the six chapters? Blessed us with every spiritual blessing, chose us, saved us by grace, created us to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do—these are strong truths to cling to when life tries to knock us off our path.
My favorite verse from Ephesians is 3:20, “[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…,” but the verse I want to highlight today is the verse that I failed just a few days ago, verse 4:29.
I chatted with my twin sons while we waited for their dad to fill the van with gas. In my discussion, I compared a group of people we had just visited to group from another area. Unfortunately, one of the words I used was oddball. When I finished speaking, Quinn asked, “Who were some of the oddball people, Mom?” As if on cue, that verse popped into my brain, “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.”
I immediately tried to explain my point better. Then, of course, Lane joined in with, “Don’t start backpeddling now, Mom.”
If I had used interesting or unique instead of oddball, I could have made the same case, but the connotation would have been much more positive. If I had heeded the verse earlier, however, I might have changed the whole conversation. None of the comparison was necessary because the words weren’t helpful for building others up nor did they benefit those who were listening. My seventeen-year-old sons reminded me that thinking before speaking is a good thing.
Thank Goodness for God’s Word that teaches me how to live, for God’s grace and mercy that covers me when I fail, and for sons who keep their mother on her spiritual toes.