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Wise Words Help Build Community
By Rick Warren

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)

If you want to create change in your home, marriage, school, work, or relationships, the way you talk to others will make all the difference in the world.

When Nehemiah left his position as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes and traveled to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls, he knew he needed to identify with the people there. If he was going to get them on board with his plans, he needed to talk like an insider, not an outsider.

The Bible says, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17 NIV).

Notice Nehemiah said “us,” not “I.” He said “we,” not “me.” What was he doing with his words? He was building community. He didn’t point fingers and say, “I’m here to save the day and fix everything for you because you guys don’t even seem to care that you’re living in a heap of rubble.” No, he said, “This is our problem. And, together, I know that we can succeed because God is with us.”

When great leaders have a dream, they build a team. That’s what leadership is all about. Great leaders don’t show up and start blaming people. They accept part of the responsibility.

At times in your life, you’ll see a problem and have to choose between fixing the blame or fixing the problem. Anytime you blame others, you lower their motivation. Anytime you focus on a solution instead, you increase the motivation.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “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” (NIV).

Great things happen when you unite people with your words and offer to help them succeed in something they've always wanted to accomplish—together.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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