In George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, the 65th Rule is “Speak not injurious words, neither in jest or earnest; scoff at none although they give occasion.” I have a collection of books that cover a wide range of subjects. I know you may be thinking, "Who reads stuff like that?" and I admit, I do own the book. There are actually 105 rules that George tried to follow when in the company of others. This one in particular reminds me of Ephesians 4:29, which says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” It would appear that the language of Godly people should avoid being harmful and instead be used to build others up. It seems, in the world we live in, it is much easier to tear another down that it is to build them up. It is much easier to tell a lie than stand up for the truth. There is a caution in the quote that in jest or in earnest you can cause harm in others. Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus, gives the best reason of all to use decent language and tone toward another. He says our conversation “may minister grace.” Grace is receiving something that we would never deserve. Grace is what Jesus extends to us in spite of the fact that we deserve nothing.
What do others see in you? Do they know by your conversation that you mean them no harm and you desire to edify or build them up? We can do harm in jest or in earnest but in either case, harm is done. Let’s use this week to try and build each other up. A believer needs that word of encouragement and an unbeliever needs to know you care enough to share the Gospel with them. Enjoy your coffee.
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.