Edifying Words in Christ - Ephesians 4:25-32

Edifying Words in Christ

Oftentimes, I hear my children say things to each other that are hurtful and not very kind. My wife and I try to help teach them ways to control their tongues and only use kind words toward each other. Siblings are tough because they know how to push each other’s buttons, but it is even more important to be uplifting to family. 

How are we using our words toward our brothers and sisters in Christ? 

Ephesians 4:22-32

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Paul gives the Ephesians some tools for application. He says that since we have put aside self-deceit and lying of our ‘old self,’ we are to now use our words to speak the truth to our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a body of Christ, we need not be deceitful to each other ‘members’ because the body can’t function if certain parts do not communicate truthfully with the other parts of the body. 

Now that we have put on our new self in Christ, the Holy Spirit allows us not to perform sinful anger. Christ was angry at sin and unrighteousness, but He did not sin. Anger can be an explosive seed that escalates quickly, but the Holy Spirit gives us self-control and provides us the ability the let go of our wrath. Paul tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger; therefore, we should not harbor anger because it continues to grow and provides a footstool for sin and the devil to work. How are you controlling your anger? How are you allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life to overcome wrath?

Next, God calls us to do honest work according to His will for our lives. Now that we are a ‘new man’ in Christ, we no longer have to use our skills for sin and evil. God gives us abilities and gifts to help those around us and build and strengthen the body of Christ. God calls us to help those in need with the gifts He has blessed us with. 

Furthermore, we must use our words only to speak the truth and be edifying to those around us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ deserve truthful words that fit the occasion and are encouraging. But this takes self-awareness and practice by thinking before speaking. If our words are not uplifting, then should we be saying them? If our thoughts aren’t uplifting toward others, should we even be thinking about them? The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and the ability to overcome our thoughts and words. 

Therefore, let us use and apply our self-control in the Holy Spirit. Set aside our anger and bitterness, but let us be loving and forgiving of one another. We all make mistakes, and God calls us to forgive through love. Even if someone sins against us, we can be forgiving and use uplifting and encouraging words that please God’s ears. This is easier said than done, but God allows us to grow in Him and strengthen our weaknesses. Christ is the ultimate example for us, and if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts, then forgiving and loving others becomes easier. 

Love one another and forgive your neighbors. Speak kind and uplifting words that are not deceitful. We need to strengthen the body of Christ and not tear it down with our words, thoughts, and actions.
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