Ephesians 4:29 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.
Twice this week I have been humbled by the ramifications of my tongue. Of ugly words that I've said, that were obviously a result of an even more ugly heart. Once in relation to finding myself gossiping about a friend, and in having a heart that found that enjoyable. And once by in anger saying words that I didn't mean, and that were just plain nasty. And all of this brought me to Ephesians 4:29... to pondering what it looks like to only use my words for the good and encouragement of others, rather than harm. This verse doesn't just say don't use your words for bad, it doesn't say to waste endless words on meaningless topics, but it says that all of our words should be for the benefit of those who will hear.
As a friend reminded me this week, I have seen all too well the truth in James 3:8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
I am humbled by my foul mouth and heart. I know that I cannot do anything to change this on my own, and that all of my efforts will be in vain... but that I must seek the Lord, to produce His fruit in me, and rid me of this awful condition.
Jesus, thank you for your love and abounding grace... for the wisdom and guidance of your Spirit. Lord, forgive me for the ugliness of my heart, for the ways in which I sin against you... particularly through anger and gossip. Rid me of these evils, and the enemy's influence over me. Produce your fruit in me of love for all others, gentlness, and self-control. Let all of my words be used by you, for your glory. Lord, I thank you that your mecies are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.