Ephesians 4:29 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.

Have you ever said something that you really regretted later? Whether just through gossip or in a fit of anger, it’s so easy to hurt or lash out at someone and, in turn, ruin their reputation. The problem is that, once you say those hurtful things, it’s not very easy to take them back. You may have heard the popular phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” However, we all know that this phrase doesn’t hold true. In fact, if we are really honest with ourselves, names and rumors do hurt, and sometimes they can hurt far more than any stick or stone.

It’s interesting how a bruise from being hit can eventually heal and fade away, but a bad rumor or hurtful word can stick with us for a lifetime. God wants you to live a life that is geared towards lifting people up, not bringing them down. If you have said some hurtful things to someone or about someone, it’s time to come clean. It’s time to allow some healing of the wounds you’ve caused upon yourself and others. It’s time to be free and lift those you’ve hurt up according to their needs, just as the Apostle Paul so rightly calls us to do (Eph. 4:29). May your life be rich and full of God’s love, and every time a word is uttered from your mouth may it benefit and bring joy to God and the lives of others.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever participated in gossip or hurt someone with your words? Explain. Have you ever been hurt by someone’s words?
QUESTION 2. Based on your answer to question 1, have you ever reached out to the person you hurt to ask for forgiveness? Have you ever forgiven someone who said hurtful things to you or about you?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to use your words as a way to lift God and others up, not as a way to tear them down. Let God’s love speak through you for the benefits of others.
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