You Don't Say!
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 started talking about watching our mouths but there are more ways our mouths get us into trouble.
Speaking unkindly and lying seems to come so easy to us but another way we must be careful is the kind of talk we speak. We aren't talking about cussing although we would do well to watch what we say in that manner as well since we are to be different than the world. Paul instructed that no unwholesome speech come from our lips. Unwholesome speech can be more evidence of a heart and mind that are not in line with the Lord and His teachings.
Our culture is saturated with situations that flaunt the unspeakable use men and women have for each other. The virtue of saving God's design for husbands and wives solely for marriage is treated with such disdain these days. Sadly the scene isn't much different in the church. This isn't always just about actions it often starts with words. A questionable joke here, a sensual comment there and before we know it we are replaying those words in our heads or repeating them to someone else.
Paul spoke in more detail in the early part of the next chapter when he says, "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." (Ephesians 5:4) The apostle was talking about how we are to live as children of light. He knew that if we were to be lights in this world we needed to be obviously different from it. When we act and speak like the world we are proving we are not shining as God's light.
When we speak and act as darkness, we can't spread His light as we have been commissioned to do. If we resolve to live for eternity, we need to be intentional about the kind of things we find funny, entertaining or worth repeating. When we allow them into our minds it sets them up to come to mind again. And the more they come to mind, the deeper they become engrained in our thinking.
Our words need to flow with the light of Christ. We need to speak with graciousness, kindness, purity, gentleness and love. There should be joy in our expressions and the word of the gospel should be ready on our lips. We need to be the light we are called to be.
Making It Personal
How clean are your thoughts? How clean are your words? What practices do you need to change to ensure your speech is wholesome?
Making It Personal Kids
How clean are your thoughts? How clean are your words? What can you do if you hear a friend talking in a way they shouldn't?
Father, we apologize for allowing our thoughts and words to reflect darkness. Give us the wisdom to know what needs to be cut out of our lives so that our hearts and minds, and therefore our speech, can be purified. In Jesus' name, amen.