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. Ephesians 4:29
God has given us mouths and the gift of language for good. We are to use our speech and pens to call upon God in every trouble, pray, praise and give thanks. We are to comfort those who are grieving. We are to give reassurance to those who are afraid. We are to rejoice with those who are rejoicing.
Often, when we are anxious or burdened, a different sort of talk comes from our mouth. We grumble and complain about our neighbors or those who work in this facility. We get confused and vent our anger—getting things off our chest. We tell someone off and feel good putting someone in their place. We’re just generally upset about life and the things we don’t have control over and we just lash out.
It ought not be like this. Such talk is hurtful to those around us. We have all been on the receiving end of someone’s hurtful words. We have all been complained about or gossiped about. It destroys community and goodwill among us. Further, it dishonors the God who created our lips for good. It also dishonors Jesus who died for those very people we’re angry at.
When Jesus was falsely accused, when he was beaten and in pain, when nobody would listen to him or help him, and when he was sentenced to death, he did not file an appeal. Jesus opened not his mouth at all when he was on trial before the Sanhedrin and before Pontius Pilate. He kept silent for all the times we should have done the same.
When Jesus did open his mouth, he did so to bless and build others up. From the cross, he made sure that his mother, Mary, and his disciple, John would take care of one another. As he died, he said of his enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Forgiven by the blood of Jesus, and hearing again his forgiving words this day, we are refreshed, renewed, and blessed. Our lips have been purified and we now speak the loving words of Jesus. We know that Jesus overcame sin, death, and all the troubles of the world. Because of this we are at peace and speak peace.
O God, from Whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reign with You and The Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen.