How many words come out of your mouth in one day? What percentage of your words effect people in a God-glorifying way? What percentage have the opposite effect?
Lately I’ve been thinking about my own words. I’ve been challenged by the words of C.J. Mahaney in his book Humility. He says:
A lot of language is flowing out of our mouths every day and having an impact on those around us. But how much of that flow is fulfilling God’s intended purpose for our speech?
I tend to speak without thinking. Or, more precisely, I tend to speak without considering how it will affect those around me. And I rarely give thought to God’s intended purpose for my speech.
What is that purpose? Ephesians 4:29 says: 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.
God-glorifying speech does several things:
- It builds others up. Words that glorify God are words that build others up. If I speak in a way that glorifies God, it will have a refreshing effect on others. They will be more aware of where God is at work in their lives. They will be encouraged. And hopefully they will be laughing at some point.
- It’s appropriate for the occasion. Some people are weary and need to be encouraged. Others need to be corrected or challenged. Still others need to be exhorted. Godly speech fits the occasion.
- It gives grace. Godly speech is a God-ordained means of imparting grace to others. As I seek to encourage and exhort others, they will truly experience the grace of God.
I want to grow in God-glorifying speech. I want my words to impart grace to others. I don’t want to waste my words. As C.J. says:
Through each and every interaction, however casual, however brief, I want to impart grace through my words, for that’s God’s purpose in granting us this gift of speech.
Praise God that he’s not done sanctifying my speech yet.