The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
When I first became a Christian I had one very obvious issue for those around me, my language was well loaded with foul language. I remember trying to get out of a train and producing a string of offensive words as I stumbled over my bags. Two girls who were just out of my sight were apparently totally shocked.
This bad language was hidden from my church going friends, but as always in these situations, it eventually came out. I went off on a holiday with a group of Christians. My mother who, though not at that stage a Christian, was so delighted that I was making friends arranged the whole thing. Suddenly I was among Christians all the time and bad habits can not be hidden when you are around people all the time. Some of my new friends were shocked by the words that were coming out of my mouth.
At the time all I could do was cringe at my failures and accept the fact that I was going to be irritating a lot of people. After the holiday however I determined to try and do something about it. At first it was just a matter of trying to stop, but bad habits don’t just stop. Eventually I realised that the words that came were words that I had practiced. Now I had to practice saying either nothing, or practice some more innocuous words. I later discovered that there are a whole host of words that people have developed exactly along this line - “good night!”, or “bother”, or ... The list goes on. I found that I had to practice imagining myself in situations and saying nothing but positive words.
The treatment worked and in very little time there were no swear words to be heard. It became something that other people would notice about me, that there was never a swear word to be heard, no matter how bad the situation had become. Just one of the little ways in which Christ had made a difference.