If you’re unable to speak in love…

If you’re unable to speak in love… February 9, 2016

NEW-TNJ-7.fwHow you speak shows how you express your faith to others. How you speak to others, shows others your expression of the Divine. If that’s the case, if you speak ill of others, if you speak judgmental, if you speak in a way that doesn’t show compassion, what are you saying about your relationship with the Divine?

When we speak, our goal should be to speak words that up-lift the heart; we should speak with a voice that expresses grace, with our arms open wide with compassion. This is echoed in the words Paul wrote in the Collective Narrative with his letter to the Ephesians, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Too many have taken this to mean we can’t “cuss.” That is not what the Greek shares, kind of:

In the Greek it says: pav logov saprov ek tou stomatov umwn mh ekporeuesqw, alla ei tiv agaqov prov oikodomhn thv xreiav, ina dw xarin toiv akouousin.

What I would like to do is look at the Greek and share with you another possible translation. I would like to look at several words, Sapros, [saprov] Oikodome [oikodomhn], Agathos [agaqov], Charis [xreiav], and Pas [pav].

Historically, Sapros [4595-Strongs Number] has been translated as “unwholesome.” We usually think of this as “cussing” or using “foul language.” While at some level it is, but not foul in the way many think. If we look deeper into the word it can also mean “worn out,” or “unfit.” Oikodome [3619] has often been translated as “good,” but can also mean “promoting another’s growth.” Or “build happiness.” While Agathos [18] has been translated as “edification,” but can also mean “joyful,” “happy,” or “useful.” Charis [5485] has been translated as “grace”, but can also mean “that which affords joy,” “pleasure,” “delight,” “sweetness,” and “charm,” And lastly, Pas [3956]. Pas can be seen in two ways, individually and collectively, and can mean, each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.

So, if we take look at the passage from the Letter to the Ephesians, we can get:

“Together, let’s not speak worn out, unfit word to others. Let the words we speak build happiness and help others grow. Joyful, happy, useful words bringing sweetness, delight, and joy to the hearts of those who hear our words. Words that lift people up the moment they need to be lifted, so they hear the love and grace of our God.”

Speaking in love means we don’t say anything that is defeating, or harmful to another. Our words should lift people up, encourage them, and help them on their path with the Divine. It is easy, though I will not say it is natural, to find the faults in others, but we should not. If you are unable to say anything positive, you should not say anything.

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