Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? These are the three questions the Holy Spirit is teaching me to ask lately relative to my tongue and emails or any other form of communication I may be inclined to speak by. It’s so easy to speak without thinking, isn’t it? To speak without regard for how one’s words may impact the hearer is a problem that is common to all and one that is not easily remedied apart from a constant awareness of grace. Moment-by-moment, day-by-day we have to choose to care how our words will affect others. We have to want to consider others more highly than ourselves and then choose to speak only what is edifying to the one who hears. I wish I could say I succeed at this all the time but if I did I’d certainly be lying. So instead I’ll be honest and give glory to God for His Word; His faithful Word which is always right, true, good, and ready to teach me how to go and sin no more against those whom He loves and whom I want to love. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:25-32
Stephanie Paul serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women’s Addiction Ministry. She has been married for almost 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. Stephanie serves alongside him as Care Group leaders in their church. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.