Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Usually the words that come out of our mouths are an expression of our feelings, which are a manifestation of our thoughts. When we are afraid or feel unsafe we will speak in a way that will make us feel more in control. We might lash out to hurt the other persons feelings or speak loudly to intimidate them.
I was watching the movie The Shack and the Holy Spirit was talking to Mack about how all humans judge each other and think they are right. This is why there is so much disagreement, anger, division and war. The part that really struck me though, was when she said (yes the Holy Spirit was a young Asian woman in the movie), “Life is meant to be a conversation between friends.”
So simple and yet such a powerful statement.
A conversation between friends. Working life out together. For the greater good. All trusting and loving one another. Looking out for each other. No one afraid that they are going to get hurt, be ripped off or miss out.
I met with a beautiful friend who constantly pursued me for coffee dates and catch up sessions but I was never available. She’s not from Auckland but last week she was passing through and decided to ask me again. We met up for coffee as she waited for her flight. We had an amazing time and agreed that reaching out to connect or stay connected is to risk rejection – but when connection is finally made, it is well worth the risk.
My friend Karina is a wonderful woman of faith. She’s experienced miracles in the mission field and in her personal life. She trusts God for everything and has never been disappointed. Karina’s faith challenged me. When she would email or text me to get together, I could feel my internal brakes engage. I now recognise this as fear. I now can see that my thoughts were something like
“OMG I don’t have as much faith as Karina and she’ll see that if we get too close.”,
“She might think I’m a fake.”
These unhealthy thoughts cause me to disconnect. The rejection Karina was coming up against, every time she asked me out…was my fear, expressing my internal feeling of “not good enough”. You know what – now that I’ve said it – I am sad because I know I’m not the only one who struggles with these thoughts and feelings.
If we are friends of God. Then let’s talk to Him as such. Let’s talk to each other as friends. Let’s talk to ourselves as a friend.
The scripture in Ephesians encourages us to:
1. Speak to build up
2. Speak according to the needs of others
3. Speak to benefit those who can hear you
I intend to work on my internal dialogue so that my external dialogue will bear a lot more weight and freedom. I want the Holy Spirit to continue to take off layers of fear so that I can be true reflections of the Father’s love.
Will you join me and courageously face the risk of rejection by pursuing connection with Christ and with each other?
Let’s be friends.