One of the most talked about headlines in the last day has been the tragic death of Otto Warmbier, the US student who was imprisoned by North Korea and recently returned to his family. It has been a tough week of headlines, with what seems like many more stories of tragedy and evil than good being reported. We as Americans are so blessed to live in a country where we are free, have inalienable rights, and a Constitution that supports us. That said, we as a nation still struggle with our own internal threats of evil, factionalism, and discord each day. We all have a part to play in this. Even in the small conversations we have with our co-workers, families, clients, and others we speak to on a daily basis, our words make a difference in how others think about a topic. For instance, if a co-worker tries to drag you into gossip, or make excuses for something you know to be wrong, a stern response of intolerance of such talk will speak volumes. Consider a time that you perhaps made an inadvertently hurtful joke, and the recipient did not laugh. Did it make you rethink your position on that topic? Rebuking speech we know to be wrong is something we can all do to make our communities better. In Ephesians, Paul writes that the only words we should be speaking are those that are graceful and meant to build up, not tear down. Pray for the strength today to stand firm against wrongful speech and action, and to be a leader in your sphere of influence.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29 ESV