Aug 6, 2012
Focus passage: Ephesians 4:25–5:2
One of the programs Heather and I regularly watch and record is called Little Angels. It’s a show about out of control children and their parents. In every single case of the 20 or more episodes we have watched, it turns out that the children are not the problem; it’s the parents who have it wrong.
Nearly every episode, a child expert comes in and gives almost exactly the same advice. Firstly, ignore bad behaviour if it is not hurtful. Second, if bad behaviour is hurtful or dangerous, use time out. Third, set clear expectations for good behaviour. Fourth, and most important of all, praise and reward good behaviour. By the end of every episode, little devils have turned into little angels. The parents have changes too. Instead of making a fuss, and drawing attention to the bad behaviour, they make a fuss and draw attention to the good behaviour.
Hurt and chaotic household which are unpleasant to be a part of, are transformed into homes of love. Today Paul reminds us to follow Christ’s example and “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” Eph 4:29 (NRSV) In Jesus, God has said to us, “You are valuable!” and “I will use the good things you do, to do amazing things.” We are called to do the same thing in our congregation. So in all you say, build others up!