I’ve been battling what seemed to be a summer cold. I’d had enough and went to the local Urgent Care. I was the second person in the door as it opened. But it seemed there was some “false advertising” (as in “urgent”) going on as I sat in the back room for a very long time. I even opened the door after about 35 minutes to make sure they didn’t forget I was in there. I saw a postcard stack on the counter with the headline: “tell us about your experience.”
My first thoughts were to complain about the wait. But the scripture from Ephesians 4:29 kept coming to mind: “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.”
So would my complaining “build others up”? Would it “benefit those who listen?”
The doctor came in and he was so kind and gentle. He put me on antibiotics and gave me his strict instructions for me to follow to get rest and get better. Although he was only in there for a few minutes with me and I waited way longer than what I thought I should have, the end result was the same… I was diagnosed, given meds and sent home to get better.
Those at the doctor’s office weren’t trying to make things go slowly. The doctor was trying to spend time with those who needed extra care. Everyone was trying to do their best and my complaining was not helpful in building anyone up. I’m not denying that sometimes it’s necessary to provide constructive criticism so that people/places know improvement is needed. I’m just saying that in this instance, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to let it go and to think about whether or not my talk was wholesome and if it would benefit those who listen.
Today or tomorrow or anytime this week when you feel the urge to say something that may be unkind, just run this Bible verse through your mind before speaking or writing and determine if it is something that will build others up or benefit those who listen or read. You may just need to go home and get some rest!