“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.”–Eph. 4:29
There is so much bad stuff in the world today that it’s easy to become a chronic complainer and critic. Sadly that habit then carries over into other areas of our life. Instead of taking notice of what is right we become obsessed with the things that are wrong, and we express it— over and over again. Many years ago I read this poem that warns us about the importance of the words we speak:
As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”
“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself, as I went my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks to town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”
Words have more power than you think. Just as the man in this story boasted about his ability to tear down years of work in just a short time, so your words can tear down people in a matter of minutes.That’s why we need to remember the command given in 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.” Our words to minister to those who hear them. God desires that our words be constructive rather than destructive.
The question is, are you a builder or a wrecker? Do your words minister grace to those who hear them? Are others hurt or helped by what you say? Determine today that you will watch your words more carefully. Seek to build up others through compliments, words of encouragement, wise counsel, and godly speech.