Let no rotten 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. (Ephesians 4:29)
Because we live in a community with other human beings, it is extremely important that we be conscientious about the quality of our communication. Contaminated communication will destroy relationships more quickly than bad fuel will destroy our car’s engines or bad food our digestive systems. The best kind of words proceed from the joy of our hearts and are intended for good: the kind that will build up rather than tear down the hearer. Evidently there are no neutral words. Our words either have a positive effect or a negative one. They enable the hearer to feel and do better, or they insert a virus into the hearer’s mind that eventually disables the hearer’s heart. Since rotten fruit proceeds from a rotten root, keeping our hearts full of what is good will enable us to be gracious to everyone who hears us. For grace is the overflow of the goodness of our hearts that fills the lives of others with that same goodness. God’s infinite grace is available to us; so every one of us can hope to communicate health and joy to all our hearers. Maintaining an awareness of God’s grace will equip and motivate us; maintaining situational awareness will help us choose the most suitable words, so good results will match our good intentions.
Creative Lord, may my speech be rooted in your loving grace, so that every word nourishes every heart. Amen.