"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."
There is a fire raging near my town of Fort Collins, Colorado, in the mountains of the Poudre Canyon. It began earlier this week, with a spark that got out of control. Firefighters have been working around the clock, trying to form a barrier to stop the flames and save the homes in the canyon. Residents in eighty of the homes were called to evacuate the area this afternoon. The first night I opened our front door to the distinct scent of a bonfire; the smoke swirled around the street lamp giving off an eerie red light. I stepped outside, my eyes stinging from the smoke, and quickly closed it and said a prayer. That was three nights ago. The fire that has burned and destroyed over 7,000 acres of forest as of tonight…was intentionally started.
James 3:5 reminds us, “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Who of us has not been singed by fire? Words flung in carelessness by another… a spark that ignites and encircles us with a heaviness of spirit that is hard to quench. We may spend a lifetime putting up barriers, man made boundaries to keep the toxic words from causing further damage…the fire from eventually destroying us. If you were a child that grew up with a verbally abusive parent, you know what I am speaking of. A long time child advocate, nothing breaks my heart more than overhearing a parent degrade a child verbally. And unfortunately, this abuse does not stop with children. It touches all stages of life, including the elderly. Not one of us escapes the smoke getting in our eyes!
In contrast, this verse in Ephesians tells us not to let any unwholesome talk proceed from our mouths. The word “unwholesome,” is the same word used to describe fruit that is rotting…decayed, putrid. It refers to obscenities, foolish talk, or coarse joking. Rotten, wormy apples protruding from our lips is anything but a pretty picture! Instead, our speech is to be marked by edification…that is the building up of others. These are words that minister grace to the hearers. They are not frivolous or false flattery. The Proverbs 31 woman is an example of this. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” This woman’s tongue is governed by a higher authority…the “Law of kindness.” Her speech is kind and tender, exhorting others using Christ’s kindness as her example. These words build us up…they draw us close and encourage us out of love to love others better. What a blessing to have someone like this in our childhoods! Or adulthood's for that matter! My Nana was this kind of loving person in my life who set a Godly example with her tongue. What a blessing this beautiful woman was in my life. I never felt more safe, loved, happy and delighted in than when I was with her. I am sure her influence in my early childhood years shielded me from many of the damaging words spoken so casually and carelessly to my brothers and I growing up.
Proverbs 18:21” The tongue has the power of life and death…and those that love it will eat its fruit.” I hope by the time this is read I may report the fires contained, the damage minimal, and no casualties! Oh, may we say the same thing about our own tongues. “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. “ Proverbs 21:23
This week's sponsor is featured on the SSiC blog: Traci Mayberry!
So for my card, and the reason it is not posted at the top of the page, I CASED this card from Lynn Putt, that I had saved on Pinterest. I wanted to make a card using these stacked flowers, buttons, pearls, ever since I saw this sweet beauty a few weeks ago. I changed the background paper and added buttons and pearls, other than that the flower dies and layout, colors, are pretty much the same. You can visit her blog here.
This is for our daughter's college graduation...she is off celebrating (she doesn't need any help with that part,) so I have not given it to her yet. I will be posting a few pictures this week from that day on my blog.
Thanks so much for stopping in...I hope you have a blessed week!