“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Necessary Word

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray
lyrics from the song Slow Fade by Casting Crowns

...but only such a word
as is good for edification
according to the need
of the moment,
so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29b NASB

Someone who I hold in the highest esteem told me that I am perfect. Considering that I pursue perfection... and that words of affirmation is my love language... and that I revere this sister... wouldn't you imagine that this "edification" would bring me great satisfaction?

But it didn't.

A Necessary Word = Edification
An Unnecessary Word = Flattery

Edification is necessary for our growth in Christ. It sustains us. Instructs us. Gives us something to build upon.

Flattery is superfluous. It weakens us. Stupefies us. Undermines our foundation.

"But I tell you that
every careless word that people speak,
they shall give an accounting for it
in the day of judgment.
For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned."
Matthew 12:36-37 NASB

We are responsible for the words we speak... and the words we choose to listen to... Edification is essential, but we must be mindful to not take the easy route and say what we think people want to hear. But speak the words that will give life.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, did you tell her? I'm sure she meant well, poor thing. I bet she never tells you that again. Just kidding...

Great, great thoughts, here and so true. I've never heard this put quite so proficiently, and that's some edification, friend, and I suppose some flattery too!

I want my words to speak useful and truthful to those I meet. I don't ever want to bolster another with words of fake. Honestly, who needs it? That being said, I can sometimes be a literal train wreck with my words. Sometimes, I need a little soft mixed in; sometimes I'm too snobbish with my edification.

How I need his refining light and fire within!

peace and thanks for tending to your "one" this week. No finer gift can you give them.


Deborah said...

Today my thoughts have been turning to how those around us preceive us. This post went right along with my thoughts. You see, I've been given praise before that I knew I wasn't worthy of. But in that person's eyes I was. They saw something in me that they wanted to imulate (not sure if I spelled that right).

That's what God wants us to do...be an example of Him so much that people want to act like us. Paul said...follow me because I follow Christ.

Where my thoughts went today was that so many times, we are struggling with issues that we don't tell anyone about because...it might change their preception of us. They just might find out that we aren't "perfect". In fact they might see the real us.

Oh, I didn't mean to make this a letter....thank you for your words. They really did speak to me right along with what God was speaking to me today. I'm thinking soon you will be seeing a post about this over at my place.

bp said...

Thanks for sharing this. I need to hear this verse repeatedly to remind me what to speak.

I finished the Sisterchicks book. Thank you!!! I enjoyed it, it was fun and made me want to see the sights of London! I told my hubby I thought I wanted to go ride in a hot air balloon too someday.

elizabeth embracing life said...

Often I hear..."you are so perfect". Sharing with a gal I exposed just a glimpse of my miserbale self and she said "not you miss perfect". I shared my testimoney with several hundred women, just weeks ago and rocked that image of perfection.

But then a sweet sister in Christ said this.."now that you have shared your life, you are even more perfect". Not because of anything more than just being real, speaking truth, and seeking to walk with Christ in a way that can only bring glory to Him. In Christ we are perfectd in His image, but that talk of flattery is often easy to see right through.

By the way, I love how you broke this down. Perfectly worded. Honest and truly.