The Right Way to Speak (Ephesians 4:29) - Radical

The Right Way to Speak (Ephesians 4:29)

“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.”
– Ephesians 4:29

This verse Reminds Us to Live According to the Spirit

This is one verse among so many just really practical verses in Ephesians 4, encouraging us to live according to the spirit, for the building up of others and, specifically, this is obviously talking about how we speak that God intends for what comes out of our mouths to be good for building up others, that what comes out of our mouth should give grace to those who hear us.

Our speech should not be corrupting, but rather edifying to others.

I want to encourage you to think about this today, tomorrow, in your life, think about your every word and just ask the question, just evaluate, is what’s coming out of my mouth good for building up other people? Is what’s coming out of my mouth giving grace to those who are hearing it? Let’s pray that God would help us to speak in a way that gives grace. And in a way that’s good for building others up. Additionally, let’s pray that God would protect us from speech. We know how easy it is to say a word that, instead of building up, tears down. Instead of giving grace, gives, well, something else besides grace. We want to speak in a way that builds others up, that spreads grace, and, in the process, glorifies God.

Prayer for Protection From Corrupting Speech

Help us, we pray, oh, God. We know your word says in James 3, that the tongue is a world of evil among the parts of the body and can corrupt the whole person, can set the whole course of his life on fire, as itself set on fire by hell, that no man can tame the tongue, so we are humbled by that, and we realize when we hear these words in Ephesians 4:29, we need your help to not let any corrupting talk come out of our mouths. God, deliver us from all corrupting talk, slander, and gossip. Also, God, deliver us from gossip. God, deliver us from saying anything in anger that doesn’t build others up.

Lord, help us to speak in a way today that is good for building up the people around us. Lord, use our mouths to show your grace. May our words give grace to those who hear us. May our words fit the occasion. And may our words be glorifying to you and good for others around us today. We need your help with our mouths. We need your help with our words. Help us to make them count today for others’ good and for your glory. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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