Part 3 – woohooo, lezz goo! I hope you all are faring well!
We’ll jump right into today’s study, part 3 of our Walking Intentionally with God series. It’s been a huge blessing and a reminder from God to me and I hope it is the same for you.
So today, we’re studying from Ephesians 4:25-29.
The words “speak truthfully to his neighbor,” stand out to me. It goes well with verse 29 that instructs us to avoid unwholesome talk. It’s very easy to get caught up in wanting to be blunt and honest to others without regarding how what we say might rub off on them. I like to remind myself that I want people to finish talking or hanging out with me and have a “good” feeling. Lol, I know that seems a little vague, but we may have heard this before, “people may not remember what you say but they will remember how you made them feel.”
Now when I say this, I am not referring to sugar-coating your words. I don’t think that’s me either, sugar-coated flattery makes me feel like a straight up liar so I try my best to avoid it. I do believe though, in building others up. People need to know that we are for them. That is, we are not just giving them a constructive criticism to tear them down or make them feel less than us OR just to feel better about our own selves. When intentionally honoring God with our words, we must remember that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34, hence we must check our motives.
What is your motive for making certain comments to people? I’ll give you an example. I went for my worship team practice one night and during my discussion with a friend, I blurted out, “you always look so tired.” Mind you, we aren’t “friends friends” to where I can just say these things and ask, “why is that” or “how can I help,” etc. Even I knew my motive for saying it was not exactly for the purpose of building her up, it was more out of my impatience. Fast-forward to the next morning, I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I just should not have said it because even though it was a regular schmegular comment, I know it did not leave her feeling good about herself. And so with courage from the Holy Spirit, I messaged her to apologize and she even let me know that my comment had indeed hurt her and she was appreciative of my apology.
If you’ve ever hung out or spoken with people who afterwards made you question your worth and place on earth, then you know how much it sucks. In the same command Jesus gave us to “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” let us also be mindful of our interaction with people. Let us not be the reason a person sins or grieves. And when the Holy Spirit prompts us, let us be good to take courage and apologize.
Verse 27 is another verse that sticks out to me, not just because it speaks to the importance of WORKING HARD but also because it seems to imply that in walking intentionally with God, the purpose of our working hard is to “share with those who have a need.” I love that word, share.
As we read various parts of the Bible, we see God’s heart is for the people. He shares himself with us as He reveals the true measure of His love for us. So also, when walking in the image and likeness of God, having people in our heart intentionally honors God. How is our giving to others? Not just to the poor, but to our loved ones and everyday people around us? To God even. Think of “giving” as sharing of yourself – it could be time, money, your expertise in something, a smile, resources, etc.
Personally, giving money is not something that came naturally to me, but for about 6 years now, the Holy Spirit has helped me make it a point to intentionally do it. That means whenever money comes up and I’m tempted to:
That becomes even more fuel for me to give. In whatever area you have been struggling to share with others, I encourage you to take it up with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him, in Jesus name, to help you let go of ______, remind your soul that it matters more to you that you honor God by having people in your heart than to just store up treasure by your own strength. Remind yourself that God can do FAR more with your 5, than you could ever do with your 100.
And I’ll just encourage you that 6 years of intentionally making this decision, the Holy Spirit will make it a habit for you in a way that honors Him.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21 NIV
And that’s it, friends! we’ll continue on tomorrow by God’s grace.
Stay blessed and a blessing,