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Words of Life

Words of Life


Ephesians 5
[19] Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

    Okay.  Just being honest.  This text has always seemed, well, a little awkward to me.  Even within Christian circles of friendship, it might be a bit strained to speak to people in verse from hymns and songs. How would that sound?  
    "Blessed be the tie that binds, brother!"  
    "Good to see you. How are you? Standin' on the Promises?" 
    "I can't wait till we can talk.  O for a thousand tongues to sing."
    "Glad you could make it to early church! Up from the grave he       arose!"   
    My kids would say: Please don't get him started. 
    So, I don't think the point here is necessarily literal.  I don't think that Paul was suggesting that all our communication needs to be phrased in religious songs or churchy code words.  But I do think that the Spirit was saying something very powerful about the conversations of our lives.
     First, all kidding aside, there is a wonderful place for blessing one another with the words and music of faith and worship-- the psalms and songs of Scripture and heritage.  Obviously, when the right words are difficult to find, a verse or phrase from a spiritual song may capture and communicate something needed. Long before Hallmark ever put together a greeting card, Christian people would write one another using the beloved phrases of hymns and Scripture.  Even Paul did so in his letters. 
     But an even more important point is to examine the discourse of our lives¿the way that we talk and interact with one another. Are the phrases and quips that circulate in our lives a blessing?  Does our conversation encourage and direct us to the Lord?  Do the things we say honor and glorify Him?
     This raises another question: Do you have relationships in which you can talk about spiritual things?  Is there a place or a circle of friends in your life where you can express matters of the heart with spiritual language but without religious airs?  We need not quote Scripture at one another in order to fellowship in a spiritual manner.  And we certainly would not want to digress into catch-phrase Christianity or pepper our conversations with trite slogans.  But we need a place where we can be real and be a blessing and encouragement to one another. 
      The truth is that how we speak to one another is not just a blessing to a fellow believer; it is a witness to those in the world whom God is seeking to save.  We don't have to sing a song at every greeting, but we can speak with civility. If we bicker with one another in the faith, what are we really portraying to those God is seeking to reach?  
       So.  Do you speak words of an encouraging nature that glorify the Lord?  Do you express blessing that reflects the truths of Scripture and the fragrance of the faith?  

      Father God, help me to find those places of grace filled conversation.  Help my heart and tongue to reflect both your grace and graciousness.  Help me to bless rather than curse.  Let the conversations of my life draw people to the Light of Christ.  In Jesus' Name.  

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
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