Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” -ephesians 4:29
The other day I was walking and talking with a friend when suddenly the conversation turned into speaking negatively about another person in the faith. Even though I didn’t initiate the comments, I jumped on board to agree and give my opinion.
My attitude and mood started to change the more we talked. I went from feeling peace to conviction.
The Holy Spirit would not let it go. Hours later when I was home alone, he got my attention. He wanted to remind me that it doesn’t matter if what you say is true or not, it grieves him when we criticize others and it gives the devil a foothold.
I then called my friend to tell her of the conviction I felt from earlier and we agreed to keep each other accountable.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by speaking rotten. In your anger, do not give the devil a foothold.” –eph. 4
Out of the Heart
The bible tells us that “out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Our words are a reflection of our heart’s condition.
Being sensitive to the Holy Spirits quick conviction takes humility.
Pride will keep you in a place where you feel justified. When you live comfortably in your sin, void of repentance, you grieve the holy spirit and distance yourself from a right relationship with God.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -ephesians 4
What qualifies as rotten speech? Here are a few examples:
Vulgarity, obscenity, indecent language. Dirty jokes, off-color stories. Racial or ethnic insults. Hurtful comments on social media or text messages. Humor meant to insult or to put someone down. Angry outbursts, harsh words. Mean-spirited comments. Gossip, rumors, false accusations. Public criticism of your loved ones. Threats and intimidating comments. Endless criticism. Quick, cutting comments. Cheap shots. Condemning others. Exaggerating the faults of others. Excusing unkind words by saying, “I was only joking.”
The power of life and death are in the tongue.
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” -proverbs 18:21
Every time I speak carelessly, I hurt at least three people:
- The person I speak carelessly about.
- The Holy Spirit.
Every time I open my mouth, one of two things will happen:
- I build someone up, or
- I tear someone down.
This does not mean that we will never say anything hard or difficult. The warning of grieving the Holy Spirit goes to motive or purpose and must be judged by the context. Proverbs 27:6 reminds us that “faithful are the wounds of a friend”. Sometimes true friends “wound” each other in order to bring healing. Just as a doctor must sometimes cut us in surgery in order to remove what is killing us, love will sometimes lead us to say things that aren’t easy to hear but are for our benefit.
None of us will ever be perfect with our speech but captivating our thoughts daily, allowing that quick conviction and repentance will lead to spiritual growth. It is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives, making us more like Jesus.
Prayer of Repentance
Dear Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me. I confess and repent for the times that I have sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit that lives within me. May I stay in the truth of Your Word so I would develop a spiritual sensitivity to when I grieve the Spirit of God. Humble my heart. I ask for your quick conviction in all I think, say and do.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Be Encouraged, Leah