While reading in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, I find philosophers, from Plato to date, extrapolate philosophical discussions from totally impossible hypothetical situations.
That’s one reason I do appreciate our youth pastor. How did I jump so far in topics? I didn’t. Our youth pastor is working to show that God is real and that we need not look for hypothetical scenarios to discover this reality.
I’ve known him since he was a teen. And now he’s writing the lessons for our teens. Today’s lesson is:
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29 KJV)
His most vivid illustration is that when we use corrupt communications, it is like shoving rotten fruit into someone’s mouth! Now that’s a picture we need to keep in our minds when we’re tempted to pass along a tidy bit of gossip, isn’t it?
He asks our young people to “keep each other accountable and encourage one another to read the Bible and pray daily.” The same thing I’ve been doing right here for several years. He’s asking them to use positive peer pressure, which will take the place of the negative peer pressure that can lead to damaging a child’s life. What we’re teaching is based on years of experience, handed down.
Encouraging teens to obey the law and not drink or be around teens drinking could have saved the lives of many who died in drunk driving accidents. Whether the church frowns on it or not, there is a legal age limit that teen peer pressure attempts to thwart – and some parents, too. The worst excuse in the world is, “They will drink elsewhere, so I’d rather they do it here.” Yet, I’ve heard those very words from a parent of two teens.
Teen years are volatile and boundaries are stretched, often times beyond their limits. There are no examples in the animal world around us that match this situation. Leaving the nest doesn’t capture the relationship children retain with their parents, neither does assimilation of youngsters into a lion’s pride. There are no other relationships in the natural world as that of teens, stuck in between being children and acting as adults.
Corrupt communication coming out of their mouths got there through their ears and eyes over years. They may have heard it from their parents or other family members. Or it may be new to them through friends at school. It is their decision whether to take it in, or walk away. Teens have not shown expertise in walking away from corruption, communication or not. Part of that boundary testing.
So we speak to them of real world situations and offer to them opportunities to tell their own scenarios as to how to stay away from corrupt communication. We teach them about edification. That’s not an old word, it’s still in use today. We use it when we talk about an edifice when we speak of an imposing building. Edify means to build up, to encourage, in a spiritual sense, for spiritual improvement. Actually, these blogs I write are intended to do just that – for me and for my readers.
Encouraging spiritual growth offers something to both me and my readers – I have the opportunity to serve, to minister to those who will hear, and through grace, that undeserved favor from God that is given to those who serve Him, my readers are edified. It is my prayer that they will pass along the verses, the thoughts, the nearness to our Father that they bring.
Isn’t it a blessing, just being a Christian!