29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Ephesians 4:29 is a simple little verse that is easily understood. There are some who may reduce it to a simple admonition not to cuss, but it really addresses more than that. As Christians, we should only speak words that build up others and benefit them. Additionally, we must avoid “unwholesome talk” which can be defined from the context of the verse as being and talk that does not build up others or serves to tear them down. When I read this verse a couple of weeks ago in preparation for a Bible study class in church, I experienced the familiar tugging of the Holy Spirit. It was a reminder from God that I have often allowed my mouth to speak in an “unwholesome” way. Too often, I am more than willing to tear others down with my speech. Because of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, I have dedicated myself since to praying and meditation on this verse … and even putting it into practice. To my surprise, it hasn’t been too difficult. Only on a couple of occasions have I found myself speaking before thinking. It has actually been a blessing to me that has prepared my heart to worship the Lord. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit’s conviction on the matter and am determined to continue moving in the right direction.
Despite all of this, Ephesians 4:29 isn’t what’s really on my mind this morning. More so, I have been contemplating the very act of putting God’s directives into practice in our daily lives. So often we can become consumed with “head knowledge.” In our quest to accumulate as many facts as we can and refute as much bad theology as possible we sometimes forget that God actually expects us to practice what He preaches. My experience with putting Ephesians 4:29 into practice has reminded me that there is a huge difference between embracing God’s Word in my mind as opposed to embracing it in my heart.
Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe it to the point that it actually changes the way you live? Have you ever made a conscience decision to do something different in light of something revealed to you within the pages of the Bible? If not than you may want to ask yourself if you really believe in your heart.
Paul writes in the book of Ephesians that we should role model the attitude of God. We should live our lives as Jesus would because our time is a precious gift from God that shouldn’t be wasted by living foolishly.
As Christians, we should practice what Christ preached before it’s too late.
I love Christ and I want Him to change me; yet far too often I have been happy to accept “head” knowledge in place of a changed heart. Many would say the same is true of the Church in general. We attend every Sunday with no intentions of walking out the doors changed in any way.
Ask God to change you. Ask Him what it is that you need to do differently. Pray, read the Bible, and listen for His response.
It may change your heart.