How careful are we with our words? When we speak, do we do so to edify the hearer? Or do we, intentionally or inadvertently, tear down and criticize others?
Rather than being or coming across as accusatory or assumptive, we all must strive to be positive, uplifting, edifying and constructive, thereby showing the fruits of God’s Spirit.
This is not always easy, since we must overcome our own human nature and replace it with the nature of God. This is a life-long struggle. Human nature, being what it is, can invariably latch on to the negative; it always seems easier to pull down rather than build up. Proverbs 6:16-19 has something to say about those things that God hates:
“(16) These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
(17) A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
(18) A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
(19) A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
We should edify, not destroy. We should follow the wise instruction in Romans 14:19:
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
Let us speak words of praise about the good in other people. Let us encourage others to do their best. Let us comfort other people when they are discouraged. Let us be a shining example of the way God wants us to be.
Let us always seek to build up and not to pull down; to edify, never to destroy. In short, let us use our tongue and the written word to be a force for good, and not let our arch enemy, the devil, trap us into doing otherwise.
We need to always remember Christ’s words in Matthew 12:36-37, before we speak:
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In light of this, let’s meditate over and apply Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 4:29-32:
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom [better: whereby, Authorized Version] you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”