Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to the men of GFC about the privilege we have as Christian men to actually redeem conversations and make them spiritually beneficial. We began by asking the question, ‘How are conversations like gift cards?’ There are a lot of ways to answer that question, but the one I wanted to press home was this:
Potential conversations are like gift cards you receive. They have no cash value on their own; they are worth nothing until you redeem them. But even more than that, there’s a reality to the fact that conversations, like any other gift from God, are intended to be used. We’ll be held accountable for how we’ve used that gift.
I wanted us all to think hard about every potential opportunity for a conversation as an opportunity for something great and a gift we’ll be accountable for.
After that we dove into the lesson. I’ll post the lesson in a couple parts, beginning with what comes below.
A Curious Thought
The NT never commands you directly to ‘redeem your conversations.’ But the reflective reader of the Bible will realize the importance of stewarding conversations in order to fulfill a number of other commands.
- Romans 15:14 — I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 — What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revela-tion, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
- Ephesians 4:25 — Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.
- Ephesians 4:29 — Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
- Ephesians 5:18-19 — … be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart…
- Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Colossians 4:6 — Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:18 — Therefore encourage one another with these words.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 — Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
- Hebrews 3:13 — But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
- Hebrews 10:24 — And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- James 1:19 — Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
- James 4:11 — Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
- James 5:9 — Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
- James 5:16 — Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Evaluate your past Sunday: How were your conversations? Did you instruct, speak a hymn, speak the truth, teach and admonish, speak graciously, encourage, exhort, stir up to good works, confess your sins? Were you quick to listen? Did you speak evil about a brother or sister, grumble or complain?
Simply put, all of us want to have deep, edifying, spiritual conversations, the question is, how committed are we? And how do we get there?