Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.~Ephesians 4:29 NLT
“Meme, why does sin make us say bad words?” our daughter and son-in-law’s oldest son asked.
Although only eight years old as of this writing, he’s always manufactured some thoughtful questions. Questions our daughter and son-in-law, as well as Meme and Pop, must think about before we answer.
“What kind of words,” Meme prompted him.
“Like, @^&#$%,” he replied.
Meme went into shock until I reminded her he was simply telling her the word. “Where did you hear that?” she asked.
“On a movie.”
While initially shocking, the question gave Meme and Pop an ideal scenario to discuss what words we should and should not use and why. The question also allowed us to discuss sin and how it affects our actions, attitudes, and words. And we didn’t have to bring the subject up. We merely used a normal conversation and turned it into a teachable moment.
Words reflect our character, and our character tells us and others who we are.~Martin Wiles, author of Don’t Just Live…Really Live
I’ve known a few folks who claimed to be Christians yet they let curse words slip from their mouths regularly. I’ve always thought that when unwholesome language slips out without the person thinking, it shows their normal way of talking. And I’m certainly not the judge. I’ve dealt with periods in my life when I fought with the temptation to say things I shouldn’t.
Paul, however, serves as a juror at the behest of God’s Spirit when he tells us not to use foul or abusive language—which includes more than curse words. One translation used the term, unwholesome.
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.~Colossians 3:8 NLT
What we say reflects our inside—not the shape the organs of our bodies are in, but the shape our heart is in. Words reflect our character, and our character tells us and others who we are.
Paul suggests an alternative to curse words or to words that simply have no value: use good and helpful words. When we use these types of words, we encourage others, rather than drag them down or abuse them. We build them up and point them to the One who can do amazing things in their lives.
Let your words encourage rather than discourage.
Think of one person you can encourage today.
Father God, may the words of my mouth be acceptable unto You.
Copyright 2021: Watch the Talk: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Martin Wiles is an author, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina.
He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized devotion site, Love Lines from God.
Wiles is the managing editor for Christian Devotions, the senior editor for Inspire a Fire, and a proof editor for Courier Publishing. He has also served as web content editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Wiles has authored A Whisper in the Wood: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God, and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
He has served as regional correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum.
Wiles has been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, Stand Firm, The Banner, Relevant, and Lutheran Digest.
He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, and Vine Words: Devotions and More, and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal.
Wiles’s latest book is Don’t Just Live…Really Live (Ambassador International).
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Managing Editor, Christian Devotions
Senior Editor, Inspire a Fire
Proof Editor, Courier Publishing
On the Web: Love Lines From God