29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Reflection On This Scripture
I like food! Ok, ok, I love food! Of course, I must preface by defining “food”: material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy, while nourishing LIFE! I love the colors that God created in the varieties of fruits and vegetables: red, blue, green, purple, orange, yellow. The textures and flavors are abundant: soft, hard, light, heavy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Food rocks! What I am not referring to are the chemicals, syrups, ultra-refined and processed matter that is created in laboratories, boxed and labeled as “food” to appease the all-American palate, promising satisfaction but delivering addiction, sickness and despair! However, I don’t want to take more time talking about health/nutrition during your devotional time (call me later ). There is a method for my madness though.
I like words! Ok, ok, I love words! Of course, I must preface by defining “words”: a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation that functions as a principal carrier of meaning, delivering LIFE or DEATH! I love the varieties of words that God created: short, long, encouraging, uplifting, sober, straightforward, comforting, satisfying, creative and descriptive. The impact and harvest is significant: happiness, joy, encouragement, communication and valued relationships. Words rock! What I am not referring to is the counterfeit usage of words: gossip, slander, cursing, tearing down, discouraging and damaging words that stem from wounded and hardened hearts promising acceptance, laughter and popularity but delivering discouragement, sadness and despair!
In the same way that food was created by God to sustain life and man manipulated “food” leading to sickness and death, so it is with words. Words were created by the Word made flesh (John 1:14) to impart life and man, at times, chooses to use “words” that bring about death.
20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
According to God’s word, the “new man” is to avoid corrupt talk (unwholesome and rotten), but pursue good, helpful, beneficial words for the purpose of building others up in truth. A good word will “give grace” to the hearer.
There is a controversy about sarcasm (among those I work with and attend church with), as many believe that it can be in a playful, non-damaging manner, while others believe it is offensive. I will leave it up to the individual to determine what they believe, but I do encourage you to read the following blog on “battling sinful sarcasm.”
At the end of the day, the body runs best with good food and relationships run best with good words. Consider a detox for the body to clear out the old so you can start new. While you are at it, consider a detox for the heart to clear out the old so you can start with a new overflow of speech. Luke 6:45- The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
In closing, The New Bible Commentary offers a phenomenal summary from this week’s text of why anger, theft and sinful speech grieve the Holy Spirit.
“These things) and others of their kind grieve the Holy Spirit in the sense that they oppose the very direction of his reconciling, unifying, new-creation work in the believer. In place of these socially destructive activities, Paul advocates corresponding ones that are cohesive, upbuilding, and pattern the new-creation existence epitomized and brought into being in Christ: the thief should turn philanthropist instead (28); speech should not be used to befoul and tear down, but for good (29); in place of anger, the believer should show the forgiving character of God (32; 5:1) and the self-sacrificial love of Christ who died to atone for us (5:2).
New Bible commentary: 21st century edition. 1994 (D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer & G. J. Wenham, Ed.) (4th ed.) (Eph 4:25–5:2). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Pray Through This Scripture
Apply This Scripture