Friday, January 21, 2011

Say Good Things

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29 KJV

I have to tell you, I love this verse. It’s one of the first verses I memorized as a young Christian. It holds two wonderful keys for how we should talk to people, and about people. The first is that our words should be edifying. To edify, literally means “to build up”, which tells us that our words can either build people up or tear them down. The second key is that God has given our words the ability to minister His grace into the lives of others. Too many of us are loose with our words and we say things that neither build up nor minister grace. Sometimes they are quite the opposite.

We have tradition at our church where we throw a little bagel party when someone transitions from our staff. We had one of those parties yesterday morning for three of our staff members who, for different reasons felt their time on staff had come to an end. I think the shortest tenure was 3 years, so these are folks we’ve gotten to know pretty well. We’ve faced some challenges together, we’ve seen some victories, and we’ve even shared a few disappointments. They are more than just our co-workers—they are our friends.

So, we go around the room and we let those who are leaving know how special they are to us and to the Lord. We share a lot of laughs, but usually a lot more tears. It’s always such a huge blessing to them and to us, because it’s real, it’s heartfelt and it’s totally a God thing. We always leave thinking that we should do this more often. Not the part of having folks leave, but the part of being encouraging to one another, while we’re still working together.

You know, there is nothing like the present. Let’s do something wild today! Why don’t you tell that person you see at the drive up window every morning that you love how they smile and how much you appreciate them coming to work super early just to have that coffee ready for you when you swing by on the way to work. Tell your receptionist that you appreciate the way they answer the phones and treat your customers with such respect. How about taking some time today to tell your co-workers two or three things that really cause them stand out to you. It’s not too late. You’ll be amazed by the power that a positive encouraging word will bring. Your words can build up and they can minister grace, so go for it, let ‘em fly!

With my love-