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Summary: 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

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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

A clear pond has no ripples unless a stone is thrown into it which creates turbulence in the tranquility. In the same way in Christian life it takes words of accusation, gossip and slander to steal away peoples peace and disregard spiritual authority. To desire to stir up conflict and bring out accusations against others is a sinful attitude (Proverbs 16:28). Our mouths can cause us to greatly sin and one who talks to much should be avoided (Proverbs 20:19). We are told to keep our tongues from speaking evil things (Psalm 34:13). James one of the early leaders in the Church said: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers” (James 4:11). Out of our mouths can come blessings to believers but then death and accusation which is a poison or unclean thing. The one that desire to stir up dissension against authority is actually questing God himself who appoints leaders in the body of Christ. What is worse then biting and devour brethren is to seek to do so to shepherds of the Church.

John Chrysostom says, “Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbour.” We can seek the Lord in many ways and appear godly towards others but if we do not cease sinning from our lips or writing then we can bring shame to the Lord’s testimony. If we do not choose at times to careful bridle and stop our tongue we actually will never progress in godliness (James 1:26). Love calls for us to seek to do good to other brothers and sisters, to build them up and encourage them according to their needs. When we use our words to condemn, criticize, the Apostle Paul called that unwholesome talk. What profit is it for us to claim to be Disciples of the Lord and yet secretly or publicly tear down others in the body of Christ. It is grieving to read and see the ways Christian brothers and sisters condemn others in the body of Christ, but I can assure you that it grieves the Holy Spirit of God much more. We would change our actions and words quickly if we were able to see the reaction of our words against the body of Christ in the face of our Saviour Jesus. For it is his body we speak of, as faulty as it can be.


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