“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.” Ephesians 4:29
Do you remember getting your mouth washed out with soap?
Perhaps you do, and I would imagine that soapy taste still lingers to this day. Parents would do this to try and instill wholesome verbal skills in their children.
But this fecal of the mouth doesn’t end with the use of profanity, it continues into all of the negative comments we might make in an average day. We might complain about things. We might constantly criticize without any kind of constructive counterpoints. All we are doing is essentially spewing verbal fecal matter around us. That sounds disgusting doesn’t it? Well it is.
No one wants to hang out with a negative person all the time do they?
They tend to bring the party down. As Christians we are called to be set apart from how the World tells us to live. This passage goes way beyond using swear words, and reminds us of the necessity to build each other up instead of tear each other down. So when Paul says “let no unwholesome words come out of your mouth”, he is reminding Christ-followers to be mindful of what they say – which becomes their testimony to the rest of the world around us. The words we choose can be the very words of Christ, or they can be the words of Satan. That sounds harsh, but the reality is that words can cut deeper than any blade, and words can maim or encourage beyond what we could ever see. Words are that important! And how we choose to use them can either bless or curse the souls of those around us.
So How About You?
How are your speech patterns?
Are there areas in your life that you find difficult and you end up catching yourself speaking with fecal, unwholesome speech? Do you constantly have to fight against going negative. Does this permeate your entire outlook on life and on others around you? If so, how can you change this pattern of unwholesome talk? We can blame other people and situations, that would be the easy way out…but only when we take responsibility for our own speech and rein in our thoughts, will we ever seen measurable spiritual growth. It begins with you, it begins with me.
Dear Lord, help me with my tongue today.
Remind me that I am set apart for you. Cleanse me of malice and negative thinking that seems to bleed out into my speech. I want to be a kingdom builder, not one who tears down. Show me what it means to be edifying and encouraging to others. Help me with the words I choose to speak. My the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, Oh Lord my Strength and my Redeemer. -Amen