Did you have a mother who threatened to wash your mouth out with soap because of the words you were using? I highly doubt that practice is being used today, but back in my day as a child, it was a regular threat. Before you get offended and claim child abuse, you need to understand that it was used as a direct deterrent against bad language coming out of children’s mouths. If you have ever had it done, you won’t soon forget it. Every time you looked at a bar of soap, it reminded you to watch your tongue.
“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. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.
Foul language has been an issue since the beginning of time. Paul has to warn the Ephesian church to make sure that they watch their tongue. He is not going to wash their mouths out with soap, but he is bringing down the hammer. The church should be known as a place that builds up those who are in need. If we are those who judge someone’s calamity by telling them their decisions caused it, we are guilty of foul language. There is nothing worse than to be kicked while they are down.
When we tear each other down by judging or telling lies, we grieve the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there are a lot of mean-spirited Christians who have no control over their tongue. They espouse their ideas and opinions to others, and they drop criticism like bombs on everyone around them. This tarnishes the reputation of the church and diminishes the work of the Gospel. It gives fuel to the fire of those who oppose us and divides the body instead of uniting it. Watch your tongue. Do your part to stop this.
Build Others Up
Instead, be the person who builds people up. I’m not talking about flattery but being the encourager who speaks the truth in love and stands upon the principles of Scripture. The church needs cheerleaders and advocates that are going to champion those who are afflicted and oppressed. We build the kingdom by being those who love the unloveable. Watch your tongue. Make sure that it is being used to build others up.