walk in the word
29Let 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. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:29-32
Ready to be convicted about something that could improve your relationships for the rest of your life? It’s all about the words that come out of your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 says it straight up: “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.”
“Corrupt” means to break down; cause decay. This verse says: Don’t say what tears people down. Just don’t. The measurement of what words should be spoken is the questions: will it build them up?
This is critical to understand: God is building something in the life of every follower of Jesus Christ. He has a personal construction plan for your life that targets where you need to grow and change. Most of the time those areas that need improvement are also noticeable to the people around you. When you insert your critical words into the middle of what God is working on, you are in essence tearing down what God is doing in their life. Ephesians 4:29 says, just don’t do it.
Instead, “say what is good.” Speak words that are helpful to God’s construction program in their life. And if you’re like me, a verbal person, you’ve been thinking, “I am such a loser. I say things I shouldn’t say all the time.” Good, take this word to heart.
But listen up, non-verbal person, there are sins of not saying things as well as sins of saying things. May I encourage you to open your mouths with words of blessing? I praise God for such encouragers—people who say to one another, “I appreciate what good work you’re doing. God is really changing you, isn’t He?” Step up, non-verbal people, God can use your word fitly spoken (Proverbs 25:11).
So why should we say what builds people up? Ephesians 4:29 ends with this thought: Because we all need grace. God gives it to us in amazing measure. He sets our feet in a wide place (Psalm 119:45). In His grace, He puts us where we’re not in danger of tripping off the edge. If our mouths get us in a spot where we shouldn’t be, we won’t fall off with God; He just reaches out and pulls us back. That’s’ grace.
Prayer – Father in heaven, thank You for Your instructions on what words are pleasing to Your ears. Father, I don’t mean to have a critical spirit and sometimes my critical words are meant to encourage, but I need to pattern my words after what You tell me. I’m sorry for all the ways I tear down Your work in others. Remind me in the moment to be more careful about that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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