Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (Ephesians 4:29)
Okay, so a little honesty here today, my friends. I don't always speak the most helpful or edifying words. Shocker, huh? Sometimes I just plainly put stuff out there without thinking too much about how it will make another feel, or how it will present the image of another to someone who overhears me. Not every word I speak would be considered a gift - sometimes those words are just plain garbage. I don't think I am alone in this admission of guilt - some of your words are plain garbage, too. "Watching" the way we talk is the key to getting to the point our words begin to be less worthy of the garbage heap and more consistent with the love of God. Do you realize that words are the basis of many a break in relationships - betrayal and offenses being conveyed through the words someone speaks? If we want the 'breaks' to be mended in our world today, it begins with the words we say, but those words begin in our hearts. Therefore, to 'watch' the words we speak, we 'watch' what gets into our hearts.
We don't need to have the final word. We don't need our every opinion to be expressed. We don't need to point out the faults of another. So, why do we pursue that final word, need to make a point or convert someone to the view we have of a situation? We need to allow the love of Christ to change our hearts - to increase our appreciation of grace. Not just the grace God gives us, but the grace to see what God sees in the individual we are with at that moment - so the words we speak are the words that build up that individual in just the way they need to be built up. 'Watch your words' - every word that proceeds out of the mouth begins in the heart - in our emotions, pride, and thoughts. Grace begins the moment we ask God's help to become 'gift-givers' when it comes to our words.
A 'gift-giver' meets the needs of another - each word a gift. How is it that you and I can begin to make every word count for good and not for bad? We begin to listen before we speak those words - listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. He won't steer us wrong - his leading is always designed to produce good things in and through us. I spend more time these days thinking upon the good things of God's grace than I do ruminating over the bad things that 'tick me off' in this world. Why? I don't want to add to the chaos, I want to be part of the healing. I spend less time finding fault in the other guy's actions. Why? I know my actions have equally been at fault - none of us is without fault at one time or another, so I ask God to work on me and leave the 'work' the other guy needs to God.
Words can heal and build up, but before the words we speak carry this kind of power, we must focus more on grace. Grace to overlook an offense. Grace to see there is good in even the worst of circumstances. Grace to support the one who knows what they have done or said hasn't been 'right on', but who is too afraid or prideful to admit it. Grace isn't meaningful until it is practiced - for it is in the practice of grace that the gift of grace becomes truly known. Just sayin!