Welcome to this time of listening to God speak to us through His word. In order to prepare your heart and quiet your soul, please pray God would reveal himself to you. Ask Him to forgive you all of your sins as you turn to Him. He is listening to you and He loves you. Remember to thank him for his many blessings. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Ephesians 4:29-30
29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
As I think about Paul's words to the Ephesians it reminds me we speak mostly to satisfy our own needs. Ever heard the expression, "He loves to hear himself talk"? I know it's probably been said of me. We have a need to make a point, to express ourselves, to communicate some information or an emotion. But, what about the recipient? How does what I am saying meet his needs?
Paul seems to be encouraging us to have a radically different way of thinking. He seems to be saying it would be better for us to remain silent than to speak words that do not benefit others. Reminds me of another good saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all."
God is calling us to holy living, including in our speech. "Be ye therefore holy as I am holy." His desire is for us to use our entire bodies, including our minds and vocal chords, to his glory. How can we do that? We can put the best construction on what our brothers and sisters say and do. We can encourage them, compliment them, pray for them, and love them.
The people listening to us are in one of two categories: 1) they are either members of the body of Christ, in which case they need to be encouraged or 2) they are unbelievers who are watching our every move to see if being a Christ-follower really does make a difference in one's life.
May God grant us the patience, the peace, and the presence of mind to speak only words that benefit those who are listening!