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 may benefit those who listen.
Many of us have heard the phrase at some point… if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The Bible has its own version. There is much power in our words, whether we intend them or not. In today’s age of technology our words travel much farther than before with less context than before. It is more important than ever to watch our words.
While one may be quick to call someone sensitive and decry a culture of political correctness, I implore us to follow Christ’s example. When He spoke, He was very intentional about the words He used and who His audience was. He was the master of matching His impact with His intent. As Ephesians points out “but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” According to their needs cannot be lost in the verse. It is important that we know our audience so that our words can have the full impact that we desire which should always be for the building up of others.
We, of course may have slip ups, but we need to remain intentional in the delivery of our messages which should always be the gospel. The message of the gospel is fully about Christ and His perfect love. His chase after us, a fallen people. The gospel is about grace, mercy, and reconciliation. Love will abound when we focus on the message of the gospel in all of our words.
I challenge you to think about the person or group you are speaking to instead of what may make you feel better. This may be harder than containing a raging fire, but again, love abounds.
Heavenly father, let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. I pray for your words to become mine. With a word you created existence. Let my word be a giver of life and hope. Let my words only bring sight to your kingdom. Give me wisdom when not to speak and correct me even when I do not speak by my thoughts are impure. I love and trust you to be faithful in this.
Written by Matt Wilson