Summary: The tongue is a destructive force that can spew the stench of a rotten heart, but we are called to speak only what is constructive to others. We need to be thinking about our words and changing our attitudes about people while God transforms our lives.
Bible passages from the NIV, NASV and King James from the BibleGateway.com
Dale Carnegie wrote in a book he published in 1936, “How to Win Friends & Influence People,”
“But gradually, as the seasons passed, I realized that as sorely as these adults needed training in effective speaking, they needed still more training in the fine art of getting along with people in everyday business and social contacts.
I also gradually realized that I was sorely in need of such training myself… How I wish a book such as this had been placed in my hands twenty years ago! What a priceless boon it would have been.”
Dale began to work on such a book and he first wanted to see what had been written already on this subject so he approached one of the world’s outstanding authorities on adult education and asked him if he knew of any book that addressed the needs of getting along with people and the man replied, “No, I know what you want, but the book has never been written.”
So Dale began his research so he could write a book on how to treat others. He searched high and low. He talked with great people and the leading psychologists of his day and finally wrote the book, How to Win Friends & Influence People.
It is amazing to me that such a man claims credit for being the first to write an authoritative book on how to get along and totally ignores the most authoritative source on human relationships that was written way before his time and the author is God himself!
Dale writes his book and it was and probably still is a big seller. The reality is you do not need to purchase his flawed book. Because the perfect guide to relationships has already been written and has been passed down to us today.
Dale can add nothing new to God’s word that he tried to ignore. Through his research and writing, guess what his first principle is in his book? Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Guess what? Paul who was inspired by God addressed this issue around A.D. 60 probably during his imprisonment in Rome! Let’s see here 1936 – 60 years, that would have been around 1,876 years earlier! Dale should have done a little more research!
Today as we continue in our series on Christianity 101 we will look at yet another attitude that we need to correct within our lives as we walk with Christ. So far we have looked at how we need to become truthful people, people who are slow to become angry and to not sin in our anger, that we are people who work hard and do not steal. The next attitude that we must address is told to us in Ephesians 4:29
29 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."
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth. The King James version phrases it this way, “29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”
When we look at this word for unwholesome or corrupt it is a very graphic word. The actual word is the word for rotten. These are words that smell of stench and decay. When I think of rotten, I think of times where I have cleaned out the refrigerator! By the laughter, you already know what I’m going to say. There always seems to be something hidden in the back of the fridge and say something, because who knows what it originally was! You’ve been there haven’t you. All you know is that at one time, this something, was fresh and good for eating. What was healthy and good is now destroyed and worthless. It was put in the fridge with good intentions of using and eating another day. But days or weeks of being ignored, abused and neglected has destroyed it from any further use.
So, Paul commands us to not let any abusive and destructive words to proceed from our mouths.
Rotten Words Destroy Relationships
It does not require us much effort to understand that using rotten, unwholesome words is very destructive in nature. Having the attitude that is critical and condemning and letting those attitudes come out of our mouths will destroy relationships.
Matthew 15:10-20 - 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”