Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Your words should make things better not worse.”
Ephesians 4:29 is just one of the places in Scripture where the people of God are instructed to not use profane, foul, corrupting, or course language. The issue must be important to God since He teaches it so many times in so many different places in the Bible. Instead of bad language the people of God are to choose their words carefully, ensuring their speech honors God and blesses others. By the end of this month we will have referred to at least twenty-six of those verses and passages.
However, despite the clear teaching of Scripture, I know Christians who routinely pepper their speech with “salty” language. It’s not too often that I hear Christians using explicitly profane language, (after all, I’m a pastor, who talks that way in front of their pastor?) But I do hear them use what the Bible calls “course” language, which we would probably consider to be questionable but not necessarily profane speech. The teaching of the Bible is that we shouldn’t talk like that. Our words are to be gracious and helpful, building people up instead of tearing them down, making situations better instead of worse.
I also know Christians who routinely use unnecessarily strong, provoking, and angry words, especially on social media such as Facebook. Although such talk could not be classified as profane or foul, it certainly is not helpful and it does not build others up. It also does not further the cause of Christ. Nobody is going to be won to faith in Christ, or be persuaded to abandon unbiblical positions, as a result of mean-spirited statements and angry, provoking words. Statements like that just stir things up and make the situation worse.
The teaching of the Bible is clear – we are to bless people with our words, building them up instead of tearing them down, and promoting the cause of Christ with love and grace.