Without planning on it, and seemingly without any forethought at all, I’ve allowed critical speech to slip out of my mouth.
Sometimes its downright pernicious, ugly, cutting, and biting.
At others it appears to be innocuous, normal, and nearly innocent.
But the fact that words which tear down someone else in order to feel yourself built up are normal and common, even among Christians, does not mean that they are actually ok.
I recently had the opportunity to visit a large ministry with a number of people from different backgrounds and with varying abilities.
It was amazing to see how they all worked together, and I’m not just talking about efficiency.
I’m referring specifically to their unity.
Any time a negative comment was made about a team member in any way, another missionary turned it around for good.
At one point a disparaging comment was made about one missionary’s language ability, and another immediately jumped in with “but he has lots of other gifts”.
This type of thing happened repeatedly during my short stay there.
Boy, was I rebuked. Because edifying speech is not always the first thing to come out of my mouth. Nor is it common.
I continue to be thankful for God’s gentle correction in my life.
The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. – James 2:5-6