Yesterday we learned the simple truth that God does not want us using foul or abusive language in life or at work. A simple lesson for sure but not an easy one to follow and practice. It just seems like adding that certain word for emphasis or explanation helps make the point. But, when we take this path we are making both emotional and intellectual choices that have consequences. I think in most cases we are also taking the lazy path intellectually when we allow ourselves to use this language. The other day I overheard a conversation with two people where the description of one person by the other, to his face (which was representative of an anatomical part), expressed the point clearly but also created a heightened animosity and anger in the person who was being talked at and could have easily, if not for the control of the receiving person, come to blows. As I reflected on that conversation, the person delivering the message may have felt more powerful but in reality, this very intellectual person had lowered himself to a base level and chosen the laziest of words to express his point of view and left the conversation in a worse place than it was before, all because of the words chosen. If we are not to use foul or abusive language, what words are we then to choose to replace these words? Ephesians 4:29 concludes with; “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them”. We are to take the higher ground. We are to work harder intellectually and emotionally to find the place and the words that can still bring across the point but leave the other person or parties in a better emotional state. As I think back on the confrontation I witnessed, there was another way to have made the point. It would have taken the person who was expressing the point of view to have found another emotional footing to stand on, and then to have intellectually have thought through how it would be that he could build up the other person and still ensure that the lesson was given. It could have been done and knowing the situation, good could have come from what was initially bad and unfortunately after this conversation got worse. God wants us to use the faith that we have in Him, the power that He has put inside of us, and the love that He modeled, to be different than the rest of the world. That can start today, at work, with you and the words that you choose. Today would be a good day to start thinking and using the replacement words that He can give you. You and all others around you will be better for it.
Reference: Ephesians 4:29 (New Living Testament)