Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Discover Together Ephesians: Talk Your Walk, Eph. 4:17-32

We women like to talk, don't we? There are jokes about how many thousands more words we speak a day than men. But talking much has its dangers. Proverbs 10:19 seems to indicate that the more we talk, the more likely we are to sin!

Does it matter, what we say? Paul thought it was important (Eph. 4:25). He admonished us to be truthful, especially to fellow Christians. What's a little gossip, we might think? But it can be so destructive.

And that's not all. We are not to even let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouth! Now, that is a tall order. What? No making fun of other people? No sarcasm? No making someone else look a little worse so we can look a little better?

And there is more! What does come out of our mouth is to be helpful in building up others according to their needs. Wow. That means we must be thinking about the other person and their needs - not our own. Our words are to benefit those who hear us.

It would seem that the key, Paul says, is in our thinking. Ephesians 4:17 tells us we are to no longer think like pagans. We are to no longer think like those who have no relationship with the Father. If we concentrate on how much God loves the person we are talking to, and the people we are talking about, that brings love to our speech. We are to put on a new self (v. 24), a self who is like God in righteousness and holiness. That new self will not want to put anyone down with hurtful words.

Is it possible? Can we control our speech? James tells us it is impossible to tame our tongue (3:8). We'll never be perfect in this life either, but that does not mean we quit trying. Paul seems to indicate that anger, bitterness, and attitudes like those have much to do with our hurtful speech (4:31). If we concentrate on being kind, compassionate, and forgiving, our speech will be much more uplifting.

Proverbs 10:19b tells us the prudent hold their tongues. What can you do today to be prudent, to hold your tongue?

Words matter! Use your tongue for good, not harm.

Watch the Lesson Six video by Sue Edwards here.

You find out more about the study series at www.discovertogetherseries.com and see the video clips at www.discoveryseries.net. You can follow the discussion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DiscoverTogetherSeries.

You can  also read by blog on the Introduction, Lesson One, Lesson Two, Lesson Three, Lesson Four, and Lesson Five.

Sue Edwards is an associate professor of Christian education at Dallas Theological Seminary. She brings over thirty years of experience to the classroom as a Bible teacher, curriculum writer, and overseer of several women's ministries. She is the author or co-author of several books. She has a D.Min. From Gordon-Conwell theological Seminary and a master's in Bible from Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband have been married for forty years, have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

Kregel Publications, 127 pages. See the publisher's product page for more information about the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Open Book Promotion for the purpose of blogging this study.
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