“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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of your redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” ~Ephesians 4:29-32.
There’s an old story about Woody Hayes, the volatile Ohio State football coach. In a 1968 rivalry game against the hated Michigan Wolverines, Hayes ordered his team to attempt a two-point conversion in the 4th quarter of a contest the Buckeyes wound up winning 50-14. Asked why he went for two, Hayes replied, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”
That’s bitterness. That’s malice. That’s rage. And I love that story. It’s hilarious. But Hayes never could get rid of it. That bitterness and rage took him over, ate him up, and eventually cost him his job.
Paul tells us that, as disciples of Christ, we’re to put off the old self and “be made new in the attitude of your minds.” We’re to “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” You can’t excuse rudeness or abrasiveness or mean words or hurtful comments by saying, “Well, that’s just who I am” or “Well, that’s just the way he is.” The apostle says that grieves the Holy Spirit of God. Unwholesome talk is, according to Paul, any talk that doesn’t build others up and meet their needs. One who is not kind and compassionate is, according to Paul, one who is eaten up with rage and malice and bitterness. That grieves our God. And, as God’s people, it ought to grieve us.
Let’s commit today to being “imitators of God…and live a life of love.”
My thanks to everyone at the At The Cross Church of Christ in Mesquite. My family and I had a wonderful time worshiping with that group of believers, seeing old friends, and meeting brand new Christians whose lives are being changed by the saving grace of God in Jesus. The Allenhurst and Peachtree apartments in Mesquite are home to plenty of abuse and neglect and poverty and lonliness and despair. And At The Cross is reaching out to those places with the love of Christ and making a difference in the Kingdom. I praise God for them. And I thank God for the great people at Highland Oaks, Mesquite, and New Hope who are playing such a significant role in ministering to that church family.
With the division title on the line, on the road in a hostile environment, against a good team on an unbelieveable hot streak, the Cowboys showed again that they’re pretty stinkin’ good. No Barber. No Witten. No matter. Romo’s great. His throw to the tight end in the corner of the end zone while he was being sacked in the middle of the field was another classic. Romo seems to produce one of those great plays that most quarterbacks have no business even attempting at least once a game. Who can stop them? The Packers?