The words we choose and use with each other are sometimes undervalued. In addition to expression, words are one way we communicate and yet one of the greatest tools we have to build up or tear down. The words we use matter, but even more so in our internet-connected world of today.
Saying the right thing is hard enough sometimes, not to mention conveying the right message in a text, email, or even this post! God has a lot to say about how we use words. In fact, Paul writes some words about our words in Ephesians chapter 4: “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.” - Ephesians 4:29 ESV
It's can be easy to only focus on the DO NOT in this verse: "let no corrupting talk come out of you mouth". While this statement is very important, we need to also recognize that what replaces corrupting talk has a very important purpose: "say good things for building up that it may give grace to those who hear."
This can be a struggle. It brings to mind the importance of the words we use in our homes, with our co-workers, and our brothers and sisters. What is our focus when we communicate? Are saying words that are driven from a selfish perspective, or are we saying words that are honestly and intentionally meant to build up, that they may give grace to those who hear?
We all know people who are good at this. People you can absolutely count on to offer an honest, encouraging word. People that look intently for the beautiful things in others among the flaws. People that speak with the grace of God assuring you of how much you are loved.
Words matter! “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” - Proverbs 16:24 ESV
When we're careful to say things with the mind of building up, showing grace, and caring about others, we become very special in the lives of the people we touch. Gracious words, as Solomon says, are sweet to the soul, which is health to the body for both you and others. Most of all, being careful that the words we use build up show His Light reigning in us to His glory.
Are you and I children of God that can be counted on to show grace and build up to the sweetness of the soul? Do we extend the sweetness of gracious words in our homes, workplaces, and with our church family? How will the world know we are different if we don't?
Remember: words matter.