For Building Up

For Building Up

While most professionals appreciate feedback to help them grow, in most cases anonymous notes are not helpful. My grandfather once told a story about a preacher who received a note in his box at church that simply said, “Idiot.” And so the very next Sunday the pastor got up in front of the church and said, “You know in all my years of ministry I’ve received many letters where people forgot to sign their name – but this is the first time someone signed their name and forgot to write the letter!”

There are times when we need to say what is on our heart. Whether it is to our pastors, our co-workers, our neighbors or spouses, how we say it makes all the difference.

The Apostle James reminds us that “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves…”

The Apostle Paul gives this a positive spin. He encourages us to speak, “…only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words would give grace to those who hear.”

Today, may your words give grace to those who hear.

Let us pray: We remember the words of Psalm 139: Before a word is on our tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. And yet, you love us still. Guard our mouths today. Help us to think through what we want to say and how we want to say it. Give us gracious spirits that seek to build up and not tear down. As we give grace, may we also notice ourselves receiving it. Amen.