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.”
For 20 years in France we enjoyed our talkative Gaby. She so easily picked up words and phrases in French and in English. But she did do something very annoying and discouraging. Every time I finished a piece on the piano, she would yell out in a derisive tone, “Whatever!” I would turn around, look at her and fume. Things changed for the better when I taught her to say, “Bravo!” when coming to the end of a song.
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 from falling into a pit of depression.
Sometimes, all it takes is one positive word to turn around what is negative. 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. My mouth reveals what is in my heart (Luke 6:45b). If my heart is full of selfishness and pride, I am less likely to even care about encouraging someone else.
Lord, change my heart and so change my words!