“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
Jr. High is a difficult time for a teenager. Making the transition from being a child to a somewhat independent student is challenging. Students also face the task of finding their place. Jr. High is often a socially awkward time. To make matters worse, students often wrestle with how to treat one another. Students can be harsh, often using mean words towards one another.
My 7th grade homeroom teacher understood the trials of Jr. High. She worked hard to keep her classroom a positive environment so that her students could be successful. I remember one of her rules, all these years later. My homeroom had the 7up rule. If you said something mean to another student, something disrespectful that might tear down another student, you were required to say seven positive statements, in front of the class, to build that student up (7up). It was an effective tool that reminded us how easy it is to hurt someone with our words and how much effort it takes to build someone up.
Being an adult is not as socially awkward as being a Jr. high student. However, the one thing we often bring with us into adulthood is the ability to speak harsh words and hurt one another. Perhaps my 7th grade teacher’s lesson is a good challenge for us all today. We should be committed to positive and edifying speech, “That it may impart grace to those who hear.” It is easy to speak negatively, but we can bless others and build one another up.
Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship