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.
There is to be a certain goodness about us when we are followers of Christ, and that includes the things that we say. So often, what we say seems like such an impermanent thing, so temporary, something that doesn’t last and so perhaps doesn’t matter so much. But the truth is that what we say can last much longer than the time it takes to say it. Hurtful and harmful speech embeds itself into hearts and can have lasting effects on people. The kinds of words we choose to speak can do much more damage than we may realize.
And just as we should seek to avoid other corrupt things as believers, we should avoid corrupt communication—words that could hurt or tear down other people, words that are offensive, words that make us sound a lot like people who aren’t trying to honor God in their lives. Because the truth is, as much as we like to proclaim our liberty and freedom to make our own choices, as Christians, we are supposed to represent Jesus Christ. We are supposed to care about how we present ourselves and how we conduct ourselves, and that includes something we may consider to be less significant, like our words.
Instead, we can focus on saying things that can be helpful and build others up. We can choose to use the kinds of words that express love instead of hate, that show grace and kindness. We should say things that actually benefit others and encourage them in their lives, in their walk with the Lord, when they’re facing difficult times or struggles. The world wants to attack. The world wants to mock and criticize and get the last laugh, but can’t we strive for something much more noble than that? Wouldn’t we rather minister even in our words?
It’s not always easy to control the things that we say. Often we’ll blurt out things that we later regret. Too often we may be influenced by others to talk as they do and hurt others by the things we say or dishonor God by the words we choose to use. So let us be more aware of what we are saying to others around us and the message that we sending with the words we use. We can ask the Lord to help us guard our lips and actually be a blessing with what we say to other people. Let us strive to live in such a way where even the things we say are good and righteous things.