Everyone's a critic
I’m as guilty as anyone of shooting off my mouth to comment in derision about something or other that isn’t up to scratch in a film/song/dish/book/church service. And while constructive criticism is one thing, if I’m honest with myself, what I spout out in my carelessness is more likely to be thoughtless and reactive, bordering on arrogant (as if I could do better!).
The apostle Paul writes this in his letter to the Ephesians, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths (or from your keyboards), but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. The childhood saying about how sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us… is nonsense. You and I know the lingering impact of words; the right thing said at the right time by the right person can be immensely powerful.
Those of us who are being transformed by our contact with Jesus need to learn an intentionality around our speech. Has his generosity and other-person centredness spread over to you in such a way that it overflows? Is there a child, or a colleague, or a friend in your life who you could build up with a thoughtful word this week? Or maybe your challenge is like mine – to firstly pull the reigns on the negative criticism that so easily comes to mind and slips out of the mouth.
So this could be a quiet week. But hopefully, any noise that does come out from us is a noise that might be a blessing to anyone who’s listening.