Speech that Edifies

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
 Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
Something amazing begins to happen when a person gives their life to Christ.  A transformation takes place that begins to reshape their entire being.  One of these changes the Holy Spirit does is change the way we talk.  We stop speaking whatever comes to mind.  Instead, we create a checkpoint between our thoughts and mouth that challenge every thought we have.  Does it belong?  Is it something that should be said?  And most importantly, is it going to glorify God?
In our text today Paul encourages believers not to allow any unwholesome or corrupt word to proceed from their mouth.  In other words, we should not speak worthless words to one another.  The word “corrupt” gives us a graphic picture of something that is decaying, spoiled, or rotten.  So, you can imagine what kind of effect corrupt words have on the hearer.  Such words shouldn’t be found in the believer’s vocabulary.  This includes profanity, putting people down, gossip, etc.
Instead, Paul gives us a clear picture of how we SHOULD talk to others.  Our speech is to be “good for necessary edification”.  Our speech is to meet a need of the hearer.  Its purpose is to edify.  The word edification is actually a metaphor.  The same Greek word translated “edification” is used elsewhere in the scripture to describe the construction of a house.  This helps understand that our speech should not only be good to meet the need of others, but also has an upward focus – to build them up in Christ.  The result is that it should “impart grace” to them. 
May we, as the body of Christ, be sensitive and full of grace to meet the need of others with our words and may the hearers be edified for the glory of God.
24       Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24
Anchored in Christ,
Aaron R. Force

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