“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.”
Stupid. Idiot. Jerk. Loser. Ignorant. Moron. Fool. “What were you thinking?” “You’ll never learn!” “You’re driving me crazy!”
Our words can do a lot of damage, and once they come out of our mouths it’s too late to do anything about it. The Bible commands us to be slow to speak (James 1:19) and for good reason: the more we talk, the more we tend to sin.
God’s solution to this problem is very simple: are your words going to lift someone up or tear him or her down? If it’s an insult, don’t say it. If it’s a blessing or an encouragement, say it often! Like I tell my own children (and myself): “Sometimes the most Christ like thing you can do is…shut up.”
Finally, a word about “unwholesome talk.” Foul language seems to be a normal part of society these days, but for a Christian it should not be so. Foul language reflects poorly on its user and it’s lazy English. It does not set you apart…it just makes you one of the crowd. God has not called any of His Children to be “normal”; He’s called us to be special, and the quality of your language is one way that you can reflect that truth!
APPLICATION: Talk about the words and phrases that hurt your feelings, and share why. Next, talk about the words and phrases that make you feel good or encouraged. Finally, pray and ask the Lord to help you live out Ephesians 4:29 at home and out in the world.