“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.”Ephesians 4:29
I once read this poem about the use of words in our everyday life:
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!”
Your words have more power than you think. Just as the construction worker in this story boasted his ability to tear down years of work in just a few short days, so your words can tear down people in a matter of minutes.
God commands in Ephesians 4, “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.” God wants your words to minister to those who hear them. He desires for your speech to be uplifting and edifying, rather than derogatory and hurtful.
Think of your everyday speech. Common language contains hurtful comments, offhand jokes, and disparaging remarks. Yet as a Christian, your speech is to be different from the speech of others. Your words are to build and encourage. Even when most people would tear down, God desires for you to build up through your words.
Are you a builder or a wrecker? Do your words minister to those who hear them? Or are others often hurt by what you say? Determine today to watch your words more closely. Seek to build others through compliments, encouragement, edification, and godly speech. -By Dr. Paul Chappell