MY TWO CENTS:
Normally, I use this media to share some thoughts that I’ve been considering or an idea I came across that our readers might find valuable. I make a point of trying to be politically and religiously agnostic so as to allow our readers to extract the value for themselves on their unique journey and at their unique place on that journey. As I let a bit more of who I am come out in this edition of MTC, I hope that you’re able to find that same level of value for wherever you are personally.
I came across a verse in the Bible today that I’ve read many times before, quoted lots of times, and have tried to implement in my own life. Here it is:
“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.” - Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
When I read that this morning, it made me think about the influence we all have in and through our lives. Whether we acknowledge it or not, there are a lot of people who listen to us: spouse, kids, grandkids, friends, co-workers, employees, bosses, people we don’t know but come across while we’re out and about. Some people hear us because they are listening and some overhear in passing as we’re connecting with someone else.
As I thought about that, it made me wonder whether the words coming out of my mouth are building others up…according to THEIR needs. If my words have that affect on the person with whom I’m speaking, I would expect those words to benefit anyone that might be listening.
This is another instance of the pebble in the pond analogy. If I drop a pebble in someone’s pond, it will create ripples. Those ripples will continue outward from where that pebble was dropped and have influence beyond where it was dropped.
If the pebble is a wholesome word or thought that lifts someone up and provides benefit, it should have a positive influence beyond the person with whom that word or thought was shared. If the pebble is an unwholesome word or thought that knocks someone down or erodes their confidence, it will likely have a negative influence beyond the person with whom it was shared.
I promise you that all of the words coming out of my mouth aren’t as wholesome and beneficial as I would like them to be. As a reader of MTC, I’m extending my explicit permission for you to encourage me to better consider my words if you hear me speaking in a way that is unwholesome.
How about you? Is this an area where your influence can be strengthened by simply grabbing hold of the tongue and wrestling it into submission?
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®