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Words of Love

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves. If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry - get over it quickly; for when you are angry to give a mighty foothold to the devil.

If anyone is stealing, he must stop it and begin using those hands of his for honest work so he can give to others in need. Don't use bad language. Say only what is good and helpful to those you are talking to, and what will give them a blessing.

Don't cause the holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.

Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. Ephesians 4:25-32 (TLB)

Allison Wilson Lee lives in Florida. Her high school English teacher assigned daily journal writing and collected the week's journal entries each Friday. One day, Allison wrote in her English journal about an embarrassing situation with another student. At the lockers between classes, Allison had dropped a textbook on the foot of a girl next to her. She apologized, but her angry reaction left Allison feeling ashamed and small, especially as she complained loudly to her friend. Allison wrote about her emotions, assuming the teacher didn't read their journals but simply checked that they had done the assignment. The following Monday, however, Allison found that her teacher had written a note in her journal. She pointed out the good qualities she noticed in her and encouraged her to view herself that way too. Although Allison felt a bit exposed, her teacher's caring, thoughtful response lifted her spirits.

Words carry weight. How we use them deeply impacts the people around us. That's why Paul instructs the Ephesians to throw off bitterness, rage, and anger, replacing them with speech that benefits and builds up others. Even when sharing difficult truths, we can express ourselves with compassion. Each day brings opportunities to speak wholesome, helpful words to others.

Prayer: Loving God, we pray that you will empower us to speak love and life to those around us. Give us compassionate and encouraging words, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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