(Ephesians 4:29) “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
This is one of those verses that make me feel like I just touched a hot burner. Ouch! Another one of those character verses that are rooted in the new life we have in Christ. It’s the difference between who we are and who we act like. Most times we hear a sermon or read a devotional about this verse, it’s usually focused on the first part of the verse. We discover what we shouldn’t do – lie, gossip, back-bite, tear down others, etc. but what does it mean that we should communicate so that it edifies or ministers grace to those who are listening?
We see a good cross reference verse in Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
The problem is the “old man” is stirred up when we are offended and we feel like we need to retaliate. But if we really are “angry and sin not” and we are obedient to the verse that tells us not to “let the sun go down on your wrath” (both Ephesians 4:26) then what place does corrupt communication have in our mouth? We see in Col 4:6 that our speech should “alway” be with grace. So it is possible to avoid evil speaking and only speak good. Our problem is we just don’t believe it’s possible. We habitually submit to a tongue that isn’t submitted to God.
When the new man is operating in us and through us, our words are used to build up not tear down. Our words are used to win others to Christ. Our words are used to make peace not war. Our words are used to communicate the gospel not our self-righteousness. Our words are used help others overcome what we overcame in Christ. Our words are used to see people develop a deeper relationship with Christ. There is no room for self when we are communicating grace to people. There is only room for the Word of God and words in our mouth that are His words.
Renewed Thought – The Church is built up and made stronger by believers who are more concerned about how their words are used to build up others than how they sound to self.