Last week, we highlighted clear communication with your kids. Communication, and, in particular, our use of words is important in a family setting but also beyond, in the workplace and during our day-to-day activities. Paul warns us in Galatians 5:15, "Watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." We will never win the war of words as long as we minimize how critical a battle it is. The most powerful way we influence each other is through words, which encourage, rebuke, explain, teach, define, condemn, love, question, divide, unite, sell, counsel, judge, reconcile, war, worship, slander, and edify. People have influence and words have power. It is the way God meant it to be.
As I write this, it grieves me to think about the amount of talk in my family that does not recognize the seriousness Paul gives it here. No, we don't have "knock-down-drag-out" battles, but there is a lot of thoughtless, unkind, irritated, and complaining talk that slips by every day. I think we are like many Christian families—we minimize these "little" sins of talk because our home is free of physical and verbal abuse and we really do love one another. But Paul's words yank us back to reality. Words that "bite and devour" are words that destroy. They are not okay.
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the