Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:29 “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.”
Recently, a popular Swedish furniture chain used a clever marketing ploy to promote an anti-bullying campaign. They conducted a (non-scientific) experiment of two identical plants given the same care over thirty days. However, one plant was played a pre-recorded loop of negative, bullying comments while the other was played a loop of positive encouraging words. These messages were recorded by school children and the results were nothing short of amazing! One plant wilted and the other thrived! Although the experiment perhaps lacked scientific controls, I can certainly get behind the message!
Today’s verse tells us that what comes out of our mouths matters. Unwholesome talk is talk that is also rotten and useless. Not only do these words fail to build someone up, but they have no benefit at all. However, our words can have tremendous value in helping another to grow and thrive. Our words have the potential to meet the need we all have for encouragement and affirmation. Even just one word spoken at the time of greatest need can lift someone up and keep them falling into a pit of depression.
How much does it really cost me to compliment or encourage? I want my words to be gracious, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Prov. 16:24). I want my words to be like His; kind, compassionate and forgiving (verse 32). But that cannot happen without a heart that is changed by Him. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45b). My words will always reflect what is in my heart!
Lord, change my heart and so change my words!