“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.” Ephesians 4:29
The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a big fat lie. It’s a dangerous understatement that I can remember using in my childhood as a defense whenever someone would try to hurl hurtful words at me. Although I am grown now and know that this was merely an expression, I see this kind of mentality still being used today. People using their words as a means of weaponry aimed at the destruction of others—unleashing all kinds of hurt. On the flip side, the people affected by an untamed tongue are wounded by words that can never be unsaid.
Since we know that the tongue is one of the most powerful tools we possess, it makes sense that the Bible speaks heavily on this subject. Therefore, as a believer, we shouldn’t take the principle of taming the tongue lightly (Proverbs 15:4).
Christians, we have the choice to decide if we are going to use our speech to build others up or tear them down. We have the power to speak life or death, wisdom or folly…love or hate. Which are you going to choose? It is always a blessing to see followers of Jesus using their words to magnify the Gospel and reflect His righteousness, no matter the circumstance. Guarding our mouths can be so difficult, but the Scriptures tell us that it will keep us from calamity (Proverbs 21:23). Bearing the image of Christ, we must make every effort to cease from unwholesome talk and engage in speech that is always full of grace.
Words can hurt. The tongue can be used to curse, slander, pierce, and destroy. It can also be used to encourage, comfort, inspire, and bless others. If we look within ourselves for the power we need to speak grace-filled kindness, we will find none. If we look to Christ, we find that He gives us the strength to speak words filled with life and mercy— even in the most difficult of situations. Choose life.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for Your goodness and mercy. I ask for Your forgiveness for my unwholesome speech. Please give me the strength to tame my tongue and power to choose grace-filled words that reflect You and Your holiness. Help me use my speech to point people to the Gospel. Amen.
Does your speech reflect Christ or your sinfulness? Have you spoken destructive words towards someone recently? Go to that person, confess your sin and seek forgiveness. Meditate on Ephesians 4:29 and pray that Christ would give you strength to tame your tongue.