Today’s verse of the day in my Bible app is Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)
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.
I got to thinking about just what corrupt communication is. As a young person (way back when, right?!) I used to think this verse referred specifically to swearing and dirty jokes. But in more recent years, I have come to think otherwise.
At Christmas we hear children being told that “Santa is making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty… or nice.” I think perhaps we should have our own list based on this scripture in Ephesians.
So at the top of MY list of what I consider corrupt communication, yes I have swearing and dirty jokes. Okay. But what else could and should go on that list?
How about sassing?
Cleverly hidden insinuations?
Deceitful sidestepping of the truth. (those little white lies, right?)
Superiority, even in the inflection of the voice (another form of put down)
Tactless blurting rather than tactful sharing.
The list could go on and on. And I am freely admitting I have to work at it to be free of a lot of these.
So what is the big deal, and why does it matter? Because, 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18, (KJV)
We speak thoughtlessly, not considering that by our very words we are giving life or taking life… we are giving support or we are undermining…we are strengthening or we are weakening.
We do this not only to others, but to ourselves as well. Think on this a bit! Who speaks more negative into your heart and life than yourself? Would you take the negative garbage you thoughtlessly sling at yourself from anyone else? And why do we believe that garbage about ourselves? We compare our worst with the best of others. Unfair!!! It is not true according to God’s Word, so whose report do we believe?
Let’s work at getting it right. Let’s set a guard against thoughtless words and mindless self-talk! Let’s stop with the unforgiving, hateful thoughts so we don’t have stuff there to spew in the next heated moment! Sometimes at home is the hardest of all for me to contain my tongue and be kind. I just ‘let ‘er fly’ … and then regret, have to ask forgiveness of God and my loved one(s) and then forgive myself. Why do I need to guard my thoughts? Because in Matthew 12:34b (KJV) we learn that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
And lets not minimize the damage by claiming we were just kidding! What is in the heart comes out when we speak, especially when something aggravates us. So we must be careful what is allowed to remain in our system! We need to cleanse our hearts, or in other words, keep short accounts. Instead of holding grudges, nurturing hurts and recounting wrongs done, let’s deal with stuff, sort through our motives, be aware of and direct our focus to honorable thoughts, and clean up our act! Philippians 4:8 and 9 in NKJV sums it up nicely: 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things arelovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
And again, in The Message: 8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Lord, I thank You for this reminder today of ways to live in harmony and peace. I pray that I have the mind of Christ this day, that I think upon the lovely, the good, the uplifting things. Help me to look upon the negatives in myself and others with a heart of love and compassion, giving grace and forgiving, ever changing more and more into Your image. Thank You for these blessings! And may I be a blessing, an encouragement, a strengthening to my world. In Jesus Name and for His sake I pray, and I receive this blessing! Amen. And AMEN!