“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Perhaps the writer who penned these words was deaf, because far more harm has been done by words than physical injuries. As such, it behooves us to be careful with our words.
"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. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4.29-32)
Words proceed from the heart and mind, so the best way to watch our words is to guard our hearts and minds. The well of our lives provides the water of our words. So, addressing bitterness, wrath, anger, slander, malice, and the like, will have a direct impact on our words. And, this is a “Spirit thing”. Addressing these issues by our own power is like trying to pull every weed from a large, overgrown garden; it’s a never-ending task. By Holy Spirit, we are enabled, not only to rid ourselves of these things, but also to speak words “good for edification," and to be “kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Words are the tools for gospel sharing. If our hearts are filled with negative emotions, effective gospel sharing will be negated; both with believers and nonbelievers. We cannot be effectively used by the LORD if the well of our lives is filled with foul water.
We do well to weigh our words, but we do especially well to weigh our hearts and minds. Are we grieving Holy Spirit, or participating fully and blessing others with our words?
©Steve Taylor, 2015 --Used by permission
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