March 17, 2014
It was true that the person had been wronged, but the situation still did not feel right. There we were in a group of ministry leaders. All had suffered because of opposition from ministry coworkers or supervisors (some of them pastors), and each wanted to tell his or her story. The conversation deteriorated pretty quickly into what you might call an episode of “Who can top this complaint?”
Ephesians 4:29 was needed:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Ephesians 4 begins will an exhortation to walk (i.e., pattern your life) in a manner worthy of the calling you have received to be a follower of Christ. Your thoughts and actions should be characterized by the humble, gentle, and patient character of Christ. He redeemed you for such a life, and the power of the Holy Spirit enables such a life.
As I think back on the conversation between the ministry leaders, I know that my attitude was more that of self-righteousness, as well as a weird sense of vengeance by which my complaint would somehow “punish” the person that had harmed me years ago. None of us was innocent. Lord, forgive us.
The good news is that thought we failed to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, God in his mercy does not revoke that calling. Because of Christ, we are not slaves to corrupting talk; his sacrifice broke the chains. His Spirit enables a new and different life.
Lord, touch my tongue that today my words may give grace to those who hear me.