Giving isn’t just about money or things; it’s a way of life. The person with a truly transformed heart will be a generous “giver” all around — by offering financial support, help, kindness, service, or anything else that can bless others.
Something we often exchange thoughtlessly is our words. Have you ever thought of giving blessings to others with your words? When we purpose to offer life-giving words to those around us, we’re modeling the Giver of Life, Himself (John 10:10).
While much attention has been given to the first part of Ephesians 10:29, perhaps not enough has been given to the latter part: Our words should “minister grace to the hearers.” Let’s break down that phrase and hopefully get a better idea of what kinds of words we should be giving to those around us.
What Should Our Words Do?
What does it mean to minister? It means to serve, to lay down one’s life for others. That isn’t something that happens haphazardly or unintentionally: It’s something we do on purpose, as ambassadors of Christ.
When we’re in (a ridiculously long) line at the grocery store, we decide to speak to the (equally frustrated) person behind us instead of perusing the tabloids, because we’re there to serve. Simple words like, “Your daughter is so cute,” or “That hat looks stunning on you” can brighten someone’s day in a way that’s exponentially more significant than the moment it takes me to breathe them. Sometimes such words can lead to further interaction, too.
What Should Our Words Give?
Ah, grace. Undeserved, beautiful, breezy grace. No strings attached, no payment needed. The more I consider God’s grace, the more amazing it becomes to me. (And the more I honestly look at my own self, the more I realize I need it.)
All too often, we just want to “let ‘em have it,” don’t we? We want them to pay for their own unkind or thoughtless words or actions. But then there’s grace. Can you tell your sister how you admire her ability to decorate her home, even after she purposely made that dig in your direction? If you can, that’s grace — working in you, spilling out of you, washing over you in a supernatural way. When you minister grace, especially to those so clearly undeserving, you are most like Christ.
Whom Should Our Words Serve?
Our words should serve the hearers, of course — but who are they? Both those we are addressing and anyone else that hears us say those words — those are the immediate “hearers,” but there might be more. If your words are repeated, will they minister grace to those secondary hearers, too?
If your children hear you tell someone about their growth and how you delight in them (even after a less-than-ideal day), will they receive grace from your tongue? What if they repeat the words you say about your spouse to your best friends, will your words minister grace to him or her? Our words should minister grace to all who hear (or hear of) them.
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