Thursday, December 21, 2006

Devotion: Be a Cheerleader

Be A Cheerleader

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” (Ephesians 4:29 – KJV).

Forty thousand fans were on hand in the Oakland stadium when Rickey Henderson tied Lou Brock’s career stolen base record. According to USA Today Lou, who had left baseball in 1979, had followed Henderson’s career and was excited about his success. Realizing that Rickey would set a new record, Brock said, “I’ll be there. Do you think I’m going to miss it now? Rickey did in 12 years what took me 19. He’s amazing.”

Paul continues to call the Ephesians to unity, and he continues to address the subject of speech. What if we in the church had the speech habits of Lou Brock? Here was a man who’d built a career on stealing bases and hustling on the ball field. You’d think he would want to hold on to that record. Instead Mr. Brock was rooting for Mr. Henderson to break the record. What if our speech showed the same thing in our work for the Lord? We should root for one another to succeed, even when it means that someone is doing something better than we could do.

Let’s break the verse above into three parts to see how it may help us to root for one another.

(1) “Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth…” Another way to say that would be to say “If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything!” There are all kinds of corrupt communication. There are comments of jealousy, anger, pride, contempt…the list could go on all day. The big things are easy to control…I’d be willing to say no one reading this devotion is likely to haul off and cuss someone out, but I’d be as likely to say that we all struggle with being a “smarty pants” to someone in our congregation, at our work or in our homes. Just stop it.

(2) “…but that which is good to the use of edifying…” To edify means to instruct or improve spiritually. That’s it! This qualification needs to be the basis of our conversation. The next time you have a conversation with someone that you usually find it difficult to talk with, think on this portion. Concentrate on improving them spiritually. It will surely govern what we say. After all, if we are sincerely trying to speak things that will improve someone spiritually it will also improve us and certainly our minds will not be on tearing them down verbally.

(3) “…that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Don’t let Godly conversation be limited to those who DESERVE it. “Minister grace” by saying edifying things to those that DO NOT deserve it. Then, we will be ministering grace to whoever we are speaking to.

Let’s be like Lou Brock…let’s be cheerleaders. It can be difficult, but it is worthwhile and will build unity. Have you got your verbal pom-poms ready?

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