Remember the childhood saying, “Stick and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” That was another lie we tried to tell ourselves growing up. The truth words do hurt more than sticks and stones. Some words cause permanent damage. Paul tells us to let no unwholesome talk proceed from your mouth. Instead, we should be using them to encourage and build up.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Words Inflict Harm
There were a lot of hurtful words being slung around the church in Ephesus. It was probably happening between the Messianic Jews and the Gentiles. When we use our words to inflict harm in the church is causes lasting damage. Paul reminds all of us that we are to lead with grace and love when we speak to others. We don’t know what the other person is going through, and we can only make the situation better by speaking wholesome words.
Giving grace is becoming a lost art form. To extend grace means we overlook what someone says and see behind it. Another way to look at it is to give others the benefit of the doubt. When someone doesn’t measure up to your expectations or act how you think they should err on the side of grace. When we speak unwholesome words, it throws gas on the fire. You may be the only one who shines the light of Jesus into their life.
Words Do Hurt More than Sticks and Stones
Words can build up or tear down. Edification is the process of us using our words to build others up. Look for ways to encourage people. Be sincere because everyone can detect flattery. Spur others on to good works by being the example. A well-timed word can propel someone through the storm they are navigating.