In my previous post, I mentioned Paul’s request in chapter 6 of Ephesians for prayer that he would declare the gospel fearlessly. Paul talks numerous times in his letters about the words we speak. He believes so highly in the power of the tongue that he asks for prayer that he would use the right words. There’s an idea we all should practice - prayer for the right words.
In Ephesians 4:29, Paul tells us “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
In our society, we are clearly taught to speak whatever comes to our minds, regardless of how it might affect another person. We usually don’t think about how the other person might receive our words, as long as we feel better for releasing our thoughts. Especially when it comes to our spouses and our family, the people we supposedly love the most.
Paul tells us to only speak what will help build up others where they need it most, that it will benefit them. Imagine if we only spoke edifying words to each other and to our spouses. Our marriages would be harmonious and our children would be well-rounded and full of healthy self-esteem.
Vs. 30 goes on to say, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” The unwholesome talk that flows freely from our mouths grieves the Holy Spirit. It saddens Him, causes Him to mourn, makes Him suffer.
Vs. 31 continues, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ god forgave you.” This formula will guarantee a healthy marriage.
I’m often shocked when I hear the manner in which many couples communicate. They throw harmful words and accusations carelessly about, causing pain that can scar as deep as physical wounds. How do we get to that point with the person we promised to love for the rest of our lives?
We get like that because we don’t control our thoughts and we don’t control our words.
Vs. 26 and 27 of Ephesians 4 says “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
“Do not give the devil a foothold” – the second we begin to speak negative, unedifying words, we give the devil ammunition to wreak havoc in our relationships and in our lives. He will use those words against us and will turn what could have been a simple solution, into a complicated mess that seems hopeless.
There is so much power in the words we speak. You wouldn’t carelessly point a gun and shoot at someone. Maybe you need to take a moment to stop and think the next time you haphazardly shoot your mouth off at the person you love. It can be just as devastating.