Use Words to Build Up One Another

 Elizabeth Rosner

May 22, 2017

Use Words To Build Up One Another

Elizabeth Powell Rosner

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.  1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

I work in a testing center on a university campus.  As you can imagine, we often encounter people who are not at their best, besieged by anxiety, frustration, confusion, and doubt.  My co-worker, Sherry, and I are prayer warriors and we frequently intercede for our center, and our examinees.  Several weeks ago, we had a large group testing over a period of three days.  During this time, we tested over a hundred students.  Tammy called and was exceptionally rude on the phone, complaining that her GPS was not taking her to the correct location.  I gave her directions  and told her we looked forward to seeing her.  She hung up on me.  When she arrived, she was visibly agitated, quite curt in her tone with me, heaving a loud sigh when I requested her government ID.  I admit, at this point it was rather late in the day, I was tired too, so the last thing I wanted to do in my flesh was ignore her horrible behavior.  But apparently my prayers from earlier in the day were answered, and I responded with grace and warmth.  I complimented her outfit.  I told her we were happy she was testing with us that day.  I welcomed her, showed her to her locker, and told her where the bathroom was.  She just stood there, looked at me, then collapsed into tears.

She thanked me for being so nice to her. 

She said her day had been “beyond stressful” and she was feeling overwhelmed.  She repeated her gratitude for my being so kind to her.

I just thanked God that He intervened.  I could have responded to her the same way she initiated our interaction, and been justified to do so, but I did not.  I may have had the right to respond negatively to this student, but it was neither beneficial nor constructive.  Instead, another favorite psalm that I pray frequently washed over me.

     “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NIV)


“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.  1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)


We never know when our words are the only balm a soul so desperately needs.  Sisters, commit to speaking life over each other.  Commit to speaking love, even when the other person is appearing less than lovable.  Commit to praying over your words and ask the Shepherd to guide your interactions so they will glorify Him.  Seek opportunities to be kind in every circumstance.


Pray This Prayer:  Jesus, there are times when my flesh wants to lash out and be rude and unkind in response to others’ behavior.  Thank You Lord for speaking through me to Tammy.  Thank You for allowing me to witness her hardshell exterior crack under Your goodness.  I know it was all You and that I cannot take any credit.  May every encounter I have today and every day glorify You!  AMEN

Read, “Graceful Living” by Johnette Benkovich


Share an incident where you had to extend grace. How did it remind you of the grace God has extended to you?

error: Content is protected !!