Serving Without Speaking (11 May 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read: 

Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say. Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins. Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

(Ephesians 4.29-31)

Reflect:

In a chapter about unity, Paul instructs believers to control their tongues. In the book of Titus, he further instructs believers to ‘speak evil of no-one.’ (Titus 3.2). That involves what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called the ‘least-practised form of servant hood today’: the ministry of holding one’s tongue.  Holding our tongue, not having the last word, refraining from gossip can help us avoid all kinds of trouble. It can also lead to guarding another person’s reputation. It is a deep and lasting form of service.

Respond: 

Ask God to help you speak well of people today. Consider taking up the practice of not needing to have the last word.

Midday Meditation:

‘Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words… It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.’

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Evening Reflection:

Through the dark hours of this night
protect and surround us
Father, Son and Spirit, Three
Forgive the ill that we have done
Forgive the pride that we have shown
Forgive the words that have caused harm
that we might sleep peaceably
and rise refreshed to do your will
Through the dark hours of this night
protect and surround us
Father, Son and Spirit, Three. 

(A Celtic Blessing)

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