Verse 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.
We spend another day looking at this verse but having cleared up some of what constitutes unwholesome talk, we move to the next section of the verse so we can see the traits of wholesome speech.
Paul says we are to use our words to be helpful in building each other up. This is more than just encouragement. If we look back a few verses we will see that he has been talking about pastors, teachers and evangelists teaching the Church so that it can be built up in maturity. But this is not just a responsibility of those in positions of preaching and teaching. We have a responsibility to each other to help encourage each other in the faith.
It is so easy to tear each other down, it doesn't take much forethought but when it comes to building each other up it requires intentionality and a proper thinking of fellow believers. How we see others has a lot to do with how we see God. We can't build someone up in the faith if we don't see them in Christian love.
When we have personal issues with others that we haven't surrendered to the Spirit, we tend to speak to and about them in unloving ways. Even if we aren't speaking to them, if we speak about them in a negative way, we are tearing them down. It is difficult to build someone up if we can't bring ourselves to love them and that can't be the state of our heart as Christians. We are called to love each other.
Building each other up often requires our being honestly observant of each other's lives. We can't build each other up if we aren't involved in one another's lives, not involved in the manner of being snoopy or acting as a busy body, but involved in the way of doing life together, not just Sundays. To build someone up takes knowing truth to pour into their lives and this means knowing the truths of Scripture, truths that will be embraced by anyone who truly loves the Lord.
Building each other up also requires us to allow others to speak into our lives to build us up. This takes our being humble, not something we can do if we think we know more than others.
Making It Personal
How have you been built up by fellow believers? Who have you built up? Who needs building up today?
Making It Personal Kids
Has someone helped you learn more about how Jesus wants you to live? Have you ever helped someone learn more about Jesus? Who can you help help know Jesus better?
Father, thank You for giving us each other to help us grow spiritually. Teach us what we need to know about living for You so we can encourage one another in Your ways. In Jesus' name, amen.