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Archive for September 7th, 2017


Ephesians 4:29-32: Harmful Words

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Norman Rockwell: The Gossips

We hear and use so many words. We speak so often and express so much, hoping that our actions match the thoughts we offer in glib language. Paul advises us today to keep watch over what we say and how we say it.

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Just last week in my workplace, colleagues and friends decided to make the upcoming year one in which we promote peace. How easy this sounds. How difficult this is. How necessary and important is the work of watching what we say and how we say it. Gossip is an open pit that ensnares many of us; but in this time of harsh words that stir up harsh deeds, we must take this work seriously.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

In the days to come, we will work at saying only what helps, measuring each syllable as a gift. In the months ahead, we will be kind to one another, forgive and heal breaches. In years that yawn before us, we will lapse from time to time but we must return to a place of mutual respect and peace. We must make a clean break with the casual, off-handed words we let slip so quickly from the tongue and lips. We must watch our ways. We must remove harmful words and actions from our lives for in so doing, we live in the hope that we might live more gently. We live in the love of Christ generously showered on us. We live in the Creator’s fidelity, blooming with the promise of our own creation.

When we compare various translations of these words, we open ourselves to the great turning from harm to love.

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