"Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes — these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God." Ephesians 5:3-5, NLT
Words are tools, and they can do so much to encourage, strengthen, refresh, exhort and correct people. We need to use them in wise, creative, unpredictable, relevant and redemptive ways!
We live in a culture that is very loose with their words. That's just the way of the world…but that shouldn't be the way of a Christ-follower, should it? I am all for having fun, being hip, culturally relevant, "with it" and relatable, but if our words move into the carnal, obscene, foolish, coarse, crude and spiritually unproductive realm, we need to be more concerned with pleasing the Lord, right? This should be the case for all believers and especially true for Christian leaders! Leaders have a responsibility to set an example for those who follow.
Have you done a words inventory lately? Might not hurt…or then again, it might hurt a lot! Here are some things to consider…
Words Can Grieve the Holy Spirit. I don't know about you, but I don't want to grieve the Holy Spirit – I need all the help He will give me! I need His anointing to speak, write and do what He's called me to do; so the laugh or attention I might get by using unwholesome words is not worth grieving the Holy Spirit. "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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…." (Ephesians 4:29-30, NIV)
Words Can Get You in Trouble. Ever heard of someone who was "hung by the tongue"? Words can get us into trouble. Sadly, we have known too many people who have caused their own trouble – wrecked relationships, demotion on the job, wayward kids, financial ruin – simply because of their lack of discipline with their mouth. What a price to pay! "A man of perverse heart does not prosper; he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble." (Proverbs 17:20, NIV)
Words Reveal a Rebellious Streak. Don't be a rebel. Quit trying to impress people with your carnal words. Being rebellious will never take you where you want to go. Your own heart knows when you are being rebellious, so call yourself on the carpet and just make a decision to quit using certain words or phrases that feed that bit of rebellion. "The upright speak what is helpful; the wicked speak rebellion." (Proverbs 10:32, TLB)
Let this be our prayer: "Post a guard at my mouth, GOD, set a watch at the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3, Message)
Say It: “Father, I am sorry – I ask for Your forgiveness and help. When I take an honest inventory of the things that come out of my mouth, I can see that there are areas I need to work on. I ask You to put a guard on my mouth. I want to speak words that please You and help people. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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