I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it . . . said words in jest that weren’t very kind. I find the people I am closest to tend to get it the worst. Maybe I feel safe with them? Recently I had a friend tell me that is how he treats people he likes. So, if he is kind and polite to you, he probably doesn’t like you all that much.

Honestly, that feels backward. Maybe we all have just a bit of meanness within that needs to be expelled so we pick on people we like?

Or maybe the saying, “there is a little truth in every joke” applies here. Putting what say in the form of a jest is okay and I can slip in that little barb I’ve been thinking.

However you see it, scripture is pretty clear about how we ought to treat one another, even in the words we say.

29Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:29-32

Any excuse I give for unkind words is hollow in light of the higher standard of God’s word. Give thought to your words today. Do they encourage? Are they good? Helpful? Are they kind? If not, they are better not said!

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