Only What is Helpful


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Today we’re in the book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 29.  (Ephesians 4:29)

“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 might benefit those who listen.”

Wow. That it might benefit those who listen. I had read this verse a couple of times because I am not a very good example, I think, to my kids sometimes!  The Bible says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth.”  Well,  I don’t have that down.

“…but only what is helpful” … no, I don’t have that down.  “That it might benefit those who listen.”  As we’re praying today, before we take on the day and before the busyness of the day sets in, let’s take a moment and just ask the Spirit of God to put His finger on pride, our fear, our jealousies, our insecurities, our fear of men, our rebellion, our self-righteousness, and ask the Holy Spirit to control us.

You know, we don’t hear much these days about self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.  As Christians, we often hear about the list of things we should do and not do—but the Bible says that we are to be controlled by the Spirit.  I believe that’s why, when we hear Paul say in Ephesians, “Don’t let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth,” we can believe that we can actually do it!  Because we have the Holy Spirit.  We are children of the living God.

Today as you get ready to go about your day, ask the Lord to give you His heart, His eyes. Ask Him for a soft and pliable heart so that the Lord can do what He needs to do in your heart, allowing you to be the wife and mother that He’s called and equipped you to be.  And as you’re going about your day, don’t forget that when you sense a battle or struggle coming on, you can always go back to the Lord, and just say, “Father, I’m working so hard at this, but my kids are driving me crazy! I’m struggling!”

Ask the Lord to give you that extra measure of grace or patience that you need so that you can watch the words that you say. He understands. He made you—and the Creator knows His creation. Better than anyone.

You can trust Him, busy mom. He can help you.

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages

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Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John

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38 Responses to Only What is Helpful

  1. Jennifer Sikorski says:

    I needed to hear that this morning especially after my day yesterday, thank you!

  2. Tanya says:

    Thanks, Heidi. BIGGEST struggle for me! I read a little further, the words about clamor and slander and anger struck me too. I struggle with these–there are family issues, mostly to do with my mother, that cause angry thoughts and words to go through my mind a lot. I did some cross referencing in my own Bible, and it brought me to a verse that says our words should be “seasoned with salt” so we would know how to answer anyone. Praying so hard this week for that type of tongue. Proverbs 31, depending on the version you have, says the “law of kindness is on her tongue”. I did a word study once, and the word “law” is actually Torah!!! Praying for the Torah of kindness to rule my tongue today and always. Thanks again for the reminder and encouragement. And for being so honest and real.

  3. My mom used to quote that scripture to me and my brothers. I didn’t like it at the time, but it is forever hidden in my heart as a result. :)

  4. Kim Owens says:

    Wow! What a great gentle reminder! Thank you!!

  5. Yesterday was my day…. And Im not proud…. but today is a new day and I will do better..

  6. Cherie says:

    Very good encouragement for me today as I am battling with my son bringing home bad grades and trying to handle how to deal with it. Fussing is getting no where and I thank you for reminding me I need to step back and let God help me. Thank you for sharing this and I am so thankful God brought me to your site. He is using you as a tool to help others (like me) reconnect with Him. God bless you greatly.

  7. I needed to hear this!! My patience was running thin yesterday from my kids and trying to study for school. Thank you for posting.

  8. Amen! Me, too! I was a nightmare! And sadly, it’s not the first time. Thankful for God’s new mercies today.

  9. I have days like these and they weigh heavily on my heart for days afterwards :( Glad I’m not alone.

  10. Nerds R-Us says:

    Thank you for this, my morning started out rough already and now with this reminder I’m back on track. Thank you, nothing is more important to me than my children. :) What’s funny is, this is what I prayed for last night before bed; for help from God with these struggles, to help me be softer, and kinder, and quieter in the way I deal with my kids. To wake up to this being the message you bring to us this morning, just adds more to my affirmation that God really does know our needs, and when to speak to our hearts about the things that trouble us. He really does listen, and He really does give us answers when He think we need them. Thank you <3

  11. Holly says:

    Thank you for this reminder. As I am dealing lately with siblings being rather unkind with their words to one another I am beginning to see where it starts! As a busy mom of 4 kiddos 6 and under, homeschooling and working from home part time I get easily frustrated and can speak unkindly at times (much of the time). This is such a good reminder that I (and our kids) are not alone in the battle to tame our tongues. The Holy Spirit is more than able to help if I ask. Keep up the good work, Mama. You’re blessing many.

  12. I needed this today. Thanks.

  13. Mine was last Mionday….I have a 3 week old baby who refused to sleep. He finally fell asleep at 5:30am and I had to be up at 7:30am to get my 7yr old ready for school. With 2 hours of sleep I was snappy with my son, yelling at my husband, and crying while I was feeding the baby…difficult day but we made it through…and I made my round of apologies :)

  14. Had that day yesterday…had to take a mommy time out then apologize and we prayed.

  15. Thank you for this beautiful post today :)

  16. Why so I think I’m always the only one? It’s a little healing to find out other moms lose it too! Thank you for this perfectly-timed and spirit-led post. You are definitely His messenger, and have brought peace to many moms this morning. <3

  17. Amy Davis says:

    I so love your honesty.and openess! Thank you!

  18. I’ve been really short tempered lately. I just suffered an 11 week miscarriage on the 18th of September so my life is upside down at the moment. My almost 16 month old is likely feeling my grief and has been giving me grief! Its crazy at how they can understand at such a young age. He’s not sleeping very well, so we’re all exhausted. One day at a time, I keep telling myself. And in moments where I feel like I will pop, I tell myself, just one moment at a time. What CAN I do right at this moment? Its hard but I know I’ll get through.

    • Dear Lori,
      I am so sad to read about your miscarriage and the difficulties you are having. I went through a similar experience twice many years ago. Hind sight is always easier. I will say to you what I wish someone said to me during those times. First, acknowledge that you are hurt and sad. You need to allow yourself to grieve for the baby you lost. Secondly, ask for help. Let your close friends and family know what happened and ask for their comfort and support. You need a support network during this time of grieving. You speak about being short tempered. That is a natural response to grief and a misdirection of your emotions. Your toddler will not understand. They only understand their immediate needs and you just need to do your best to provide those needs. Keep telling yourself that your are not angry, you are grieving and keep thinking about how precious your toddler is to you. Ask a friend or family member to babysit for you, so that you can have some moments alone for prayer and the comfort only God can give. Also, try to find a support group or a christian counselor to talk to and help you as you go through the stages of grief. Keep the lines of communication open with your husband as he will be grieving too. Let yourself be surrounded in love and comfort by your close loved ones and friends. I hope this helps.

  19. so on point for me today, thank you!

  20. Rhonda says:

    That message blessed me so much…I’m a single mother of 9year old twins and somedays I’m am so overwhelmed and frustrated…I have been praying for the Lords, strength, power, patience, understanding and insight to deal with my daughters more gracefully & he has done a great work in me in this area…but I have much more room for growth…thank you for your transparency…god bless & much love Rhonda

  21. Michaela says:

    Wow I needed this so much. I found myself yelling at my poor lttle one year old all day yesterday. I knew better but just didn’t know what scripture to turn to. Thank you for this!

  22. Thank you, great article and reminder. I need to meditate on this daily. Mornings are rough for us but with Christ I can overcome the difficulties!

  23. yes! Yesterday and today :(

  24. Kelly Wilson says:

    This is a great word and thank you,Hiedi for expounding on it for us – FIRST TIME I heard your pod cast! I struggle with this as recently as yesterday. FIRST TIME I heard your pod cast! Loved the sweetness! Thanks!

  25. I love your thoughts on Ephesians 4:29. It is so important that we guard our tongues and ensure that only wholesome and edify words come from our mouths.

  26. Holly Caldwell says:

    WOW!! This really spoke to me today!! I am learning everyday to submit my attitude, and emotions to God. I know that God has spoken to me to homeschool my son and I know that he will give me the grace and the patience I need to deal with a person he made JUST LIKE ME :) Thanks for posting!!

  27. curious if anyone uses certain techniques? such as 1-2-3 Magic, Love & Logic, etc….?

  28. Jeanette says:

    I LOVE the audio versions on your site! Easy for me to push play on my phone, activate the speak and get the coffee pot going & breakfast for the kids. Thank you so much! And btw, I needed this today. Yesterday was a tough one!

    • Heidi says:

      I’m glad you’re listening in Jeanette! Welcome to The Busy Mom! We all need encouragement. I can relate—I had a tough one too. :) xoxo heidi

  29. Annia says:

    Thank you Ms. Heidi. I needed that. And true our kids drives us crazy at times plus our work and our household chores! Oh my i can sooo relate with you moms out there. But if we ask for God’s spirit, for His guidance throughout the day, He helps us to control our bad emotions. Truly, morning devotions before doing anything for yourself, for your family helps.

  30. Can I just say I love love love your morning quiet times? It has helped me to focus every day on what is really important!!

  31. Laura says:

    Ive yet to find another mothers great use of the bible in the developing of her family and may I just say yours is amazing and more relating on a day to day basis in a awakening way it seems every day my day consists of what you talk about and I don’t kmow how I’d handle if without your advice. Your truley blessed with knowledge! :)

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