“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.” Ephesians 4:29
Paul had just finished talking about renewing the mind to be like Jesus, speaking truth, not being angry, and not stealing. Now he brings up how to speak.
In high schools and colleges there are speech classes to teach people how to do public speaking. They will teach how to speak clearly to get the point across to the listeners. What they do not teach is how to speak to build other people up and how to keep that speech wholesome.
It is easy to see the politicians and famous people in the spotlight when they speak, especially during election time. The speeches are often filled with slamming the other person. They like to show how the other person is bad or has failed.
Most people reading this will not be in one of those positions, yet, the speaking is pretty much the same. Everywhere a person goes it can be heard condemning remarks about a politician or the president. People are very quick to make jokes against the president or some other person.
In the workplace people will cut down their boss or other workers. They complain about their pay or working conditions. In the neighborhood, people will cut down their neighbor or state that they are lazy people because they do not mow their lawn. People often call children stupid for actions they do or the way they look. And these things are not even talking about cursing.
These are not wholesome ways to talk to or about people. Jesus said that you are to serve your neighbor–who is everyone you see or know. Serving is doing what is best for them. Helping build them up.
Clean talk is one that will not complain, curse, or cut down. This will build the person you are talking to or about up and also build those up who are hearing it.
Who have you cut down with your words in the last few days?
Who have you built up with your words in the last few days?
Seek God on how to speak in order to build others up. You are to draw people to Jesus, not condemn them to hell.
I pray today that God will show you how you speak; that God will fill you with His love for others; that your words will build others up and draw them to Jesus; and that God will use you to build others up.