|Something that gets in the way (dare I say impedes) using our tongue for good: losing sight of the importance of using speech to build people up, instead of tearing them down.|
This doesn’t mean you can never criticize anybody. Constructive criticism is called what it is for a reason.
But it is so easy to use speech to belittle, degrade, and undercut people. If we don’t pay attention we might not even realize we’re doing it.
So, I’ve got a wild idea for you and me to try.
What if we both took Ephesians 4:29 to heart for the next couple of weeks: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (NKJV)
Give it some thought,
Those changes you want to make aren’t complicated.
When you stop and think about it, there are only four possibilities…
1. Do more of something you’re already doing.
2. Do less of something you’re already doing.
3. Start doing something new.
4. Stop doing something old.
Stunningly simple, and cuts out the nonsense.
What are you trying to change…And which category does it fall into?
Yesterday I preached from 1 Corinthians 4:1-5.
I’ve used that passage before to emphasize the three “courts” Paul mentions:
- The court of public opinion
- The court of your own conscience
- The supreme court: God.
But I’ve noticed in studying back through the passage…
It identifies three pieces that can give you crystal clarity when it comes to the work you do.
And while Paul was talking specifically about his work in the Lord’s kingdom, you could use these same three pieces to help in whatever area you’re working on.
Piece One: What is your role? (Paul said he was a servant of Christ and a steward)
Piece Two: What is your responsibility within that role? (Paul knew a steward had to be faithful)
Piece Three: Who do you answer to? (Paul knew he couldn’t concern himself with what other people thought about him, and couldn’t consider himself successful just because he didn’t know anything against himself. What mattered was what God thought).
Do you see how those three pieces can be valuable in any work you do? And how confusion and anxiety will rule if those pieces aren’t in place?
If you don’t know what your role is, you won’t do the right things…
If you know your role, but don’t know all your job responsibilities, something’s going to get dropped.
If you know your role and your responsibilities, but try to report to the wrong person…I’ll leave you to imagine what could go wrong with that.
On the other hand, think how smoothly things can go when you know exactly what your role is in a situation, what your role-specific responsibilities are, and who you report to.
Do you remember “way back when” during the “Two weeks to flatten the curve” thing?
I was thinking about that today and what a great recipe that shutdown was for anxiety.
Stay inside, out of the sunlight…
Don’t interact with other people…
Be afraid to even step out into your back yard lest you breathe in the invisible COVID-19 particles…
I don’t think the folks who brought us the lockdowns meant to put us all in anxiety incubators, but that’s pretty much what they did.
Today I encourage you to step outside and take a big, deep breath of fresh air.
A few weeks ago I made a disturbing discovery: I had allowed worry to sneak back into my life.
You should understand, worry is something that crippled my personal growth for most of the first two dozen years of my life.
When I realized what worry had done to me, I got mad about it and determined to push back.
I did. And it worked. And that was great.
I went a step further and urged other people to stop worrying. This was personal.
So imagine my surprise and frustration when I realized I’d let my guard down and worry had come back. It fired me up all over again. So the battle has begun anew.
And this time I’m going to fight at a bigger scale.
This website is part of that battle. Here I’m going to share my own failures and successes, and help people who want to overcome worry but need some help.
My goal is to personally help 1,000 people effectively fight worry in 2021.
But 2021 isn’t here yet, and I don’t feel like waiting around. So my goal is to personally help 100 people by the end of this year.
If you’d like to be one of those 100, bookmark this blog. I’ve got good stuff coming in the next few weeks (Lord willing).