Lenten Reflection for Thursday, March 19

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that our words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and ager and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)

These verses from today’s lectionary reading stand out for me. It is easy to use our words to criticize, put others down, or make decrees that cast judgment. How might we, instead, use that energy to speak words of blessing, grace, kindness and forgiveness? Understandably, the current pandemic makes us anxious, afraid and worried. A lot of times these feelings get expressed in angry speech. Perhaps we can take this time to engage in a faith practice where we consciously use our words constructively to build others up?

How do you want to do that? Lately, I’ve been making phone calls to friends I haven’t heard from in a while to check-in with them and say how much I appreciate them. What other ideas might you have? Please feel free to share your ideas below.