I often sit and wonder what I’m going to write about for my next assigned blog post, and when I asked my children if they had any suggestions, they thought I should write a bunch of different ones about things I say to them. So, I am going to start a new thread for some of my posts, and hopefully you might find some nugget of truth in it that you can apply to your life, too!
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
A number of months ago, Kurt and I heard a message by Paul Tripp about words. God immediately brought conviction to us of our need to address this in our home. So we began reminding our children to ‘bring grace’ to those who hear them.
Specifically, when the children are arguing or speaking unkindly to each other, we ask them, “Are your words bringing grace to the hearer?”
Now, God tells us in Ephesians to let no corrupting talk come out of our mouths. So, we also remind them of bringing grace to the hearer in their other speech as well. For instance, when they are speaking inappropriately, or using words to describe something or someone in a way that doesn’t bring grace, we try to remind them of this passage, and we ask again, “Do you think that word brings grace to the hearer?”
This has been such a helpful practice in our home, reminding our children of the gospel of grace and how it should affect the way we speak. But, I must admit to you all that in the process of addressing this with my children, I was forgetting that it applied to me as well!
A few weeks ago, I got to listen to another message, this time by Ken Sande, called “Breathe Grace.” (I highly recommend this to EVERYONE! And honestly, it has been one of the most profound means of grace in my whole life! If you would be interested in hearing it, let me know.) God brought sweet conviction again to me, this time in the way I sinfully address my children and my husband.
Ken Sande talked about the way Paul addressed the Corinthian Church. They were a sinful, messy bunch of people, and Paul would have had every reason to just ‘pound’ them with truth and correction, but he began with grace and thankfulness for them: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” (I Cor. 1:4)
I was so affected by this! When I have something to address in my children or my husband, or a friend, what is the first thing out of my mouth? It can so often be a quick correction to bring about peace. But I then leave that person without the reminder of grace! Can you relate to this?
By God’s mercy and kindness, I have begun to seek to ‘bring grace’ to the hearers in my life! My desire is to bring glory to God by building those around me up with my words, even when I’m called to bring correction. I am looking to remind them of my gratefulness for them, and of the gospel and love of God that sent His son to die for us sinners. Then, I encourage them to allow that love to compel them to righteousness.
I truly desire that our home and my life be marked by grace and the gospel, rather than by law and criticism. This is something I cannot do on my own, but I have confidence that it matters more to God than it even does to me! So, I trust Him to help me, and to mercifully grant forgiveness to me as I fail, because of the sacrifice of His perfect Son.
If this is something of which you feel God bringing conviction to your heart, will you join me in trusting the Savior for help, and looking to the cross where we see the most amazing display of mercy, grace, humility and love? And together, let’s seek to ‘bring grace” to our hearers.