Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
In this verse, we see another area that Paul is telling the Church to avoid. He calls them ‘unwholesome words.’ The word ‘unwholesome’ is the translation from the Greek word sapros which has the idea of words that are rotten, worthless (either literally or morally), bad, corrupt. (From Strong’s Greek Concordance.)
Some words that were acceptable in the past are not so now. We need to be careful how we use older words where the meaning has either changed or has another meaning added to it. As an example, think of the word “Tablet”. It used to mean a flat piece of stone, clay or wood that has writing on it. This definition still applies; however, a new meaning has been added to it, that being a general-purpose computer designed to be taken from place to place. Another classic example of a word where its meaning has changed is found in a classic Christmas song, “Don we now our gay apparel”. This word with its new definition will not have the same meaning to someone who is older.
We also must be careful that we do not speak in a way that can cause injury to a person’s name, fame, or the interest of another. This includes gossiping or running down other people. For instance, you see someone walking down the road and say things like, “Wow, he has no taste in clothing”, or “She is so ugly, no one would want her”.
Now, these are just a couple of examples. However, the general idea is we should not speak in any way that is obscene or anything that injures virtues, uplifts vices, or speaks negatively of anyone, including God. Our speech should be full of grace and positivity. “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6.
Everything we say should always be said in a way the brings glory to God. Any negative or profane words that come out from us, who are Christians and seen as such by others, will be looked at as hypocritical. If we speak in an uplifting manner, never using words or phrases that can be interpreted as negative or profane, we can minister grace to those who hear us. They will be encouraged and open to hearing the truth we speak about.
If there is anything we are in the habit of saying that does not meet this criteria, then we need to pray that God will help us change the way we communicate with others. The main thing is, as stated above, that everything we say should glorify God the Father, Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit. This will go far in helping our brothers and sister in Christ grow in the faith, and lead those who are not to see the reality of our faith and be open to accepting it. Is this not our purpose here?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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