“No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” ~ Ephesians 4:29
Do you ever say something and immediately regret it? I remember one time very specifically from when I was a teenager. I was eating at a restaurant with a group of friends and had been frustrated, the weeks leading up to that, with a teacher at school. I spoke very openly about my frustration and my disdain for her, only to see my friend’s wide eyes staring at me from across the table, silently begging me to stop talking! I casually glanced over my shoulder to see that teacher and her family eating lunch at a table right behind me! I vividly remember the feeling of my face burning, but I also remember the feeling of shame. Like her or not, I felt awful. My words were certainly not giving grace to those who heard. Ephesians 4 encourages believers to put away their former selves and to dress boldly in the garments of Jesus. Our new way of living includes new speech. We should not allow a word to pass unfiltered through our lips, but instead should guard our mouths fiercely, since our words have great power (James 3). All throughout God’s word, there is much emphasis on the words we speak. Our words matter and draw a direct line to our heart! So, whether our struggle is gossip, slander, rudeness, cursing, negativity, or something else, let us all remember that our words should pass through the grace filter so that all who hear will benefit or be built up. In this way, we are honoring our Lord!