Ephesians 4:29 says, “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.” I don’t know how many people will read this post or any of our posts for this year, but it is my prayer that it lives out the mission of Ephesians 4:29 – that each reader receives grace.
I sometimes think that as long as I don’t use inappropriate or offensive language, then I have done well. This passage challenges me to a higher standard – to choose words that build up others. You don’t have to scroll far on Facebook to find conversation that complains, divides, incites, or insults. It may not include bad language, but it is corrupt nonetheless because it breaks down instead of builds up. And yes, it is very easy to respond to corrupting speech with more corrupting speech. I have often been far-from-perfect with both the words I speak and those I type (see James 3:2).
But what if each of us commit today to choose gracious words to build up those around us? Instead of seeking my own glory, what if I seek reasons to praise others? What if I use my words to praise God for his goodness and power and love?
Whether you communicate online, by phone or in-person today, may your words build up and give grace to those who hear you. May God bless you and use you to be a blessing.