Are You a Grace-Bearer?
We have some strong competitors in our family. This means that board game night can turn ugly fast. Recently while playing a board game, our sons were talking trash to each other. But unexpectedly, our son turned to the other and called him a derogatory name. It was at that moment our son was dismissed from the game. His comment was not only derogatory but also critical. For his discipline, he went to his room and wrote out 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” (Ephesians 4:29).
Constructive criticism is for correction and refining. Criticism is for tearing down. That’s why Paul tells us not to criticize people because it tears down. Instead, allow our wards to encourage, not to flatter, or inflate. We are to be grace-bearers to those around us. There’s a time to correct, but most of the time, an encouraging word will reinforce and move people higher.
The next time you want to criticize, encourage and watch the person flourish.
Text in Context: Read Ephesians 4:17-32
Reflect: Why would criticism grieve the Holy Spirit? What does grieving the Spirit mean? Why is forgiving others as Christ forgave you essential?
Respond: How have you used words to tear down instead of build-up? What can you do to begin building that person up?
Father, thank you for your forgiveness. I know I’ve been critical of others when you’ve been so merciful to me. Help me pass on the same mercy and grace to those around me. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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