Communication with others can be difficult. When a person does not carefully choose their words, things can easily turn out ugly. The Bible contains many verses that instruct Christians on how to speak to others in a Christ like fashion. Paul taught that speech should be used to build others up, not tear them down. Secondly, grace and cleanliness are necessities in daily Christian speech. Finally, God’s words are powerful and believers should use their words to instruct others as God has instructed us.
In First Thessalonians, Paul advises believers, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (5:17). An excellent way of encouraging someone is to use kind words. However, words can easily change to tear someone down. Instead of tearing someone down, believers have a responsibility of building people up. Christians need to use words towards others wisely and think before they speak. James explains this a different way, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (3:10). The verse makes it clear that Christians need to choose one or the other; cursing or praises.
Not only should a Christian’s words transpire to build others up, they should also come out clean and full of grace. Colossians explains, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (4:6). This verse shows that, words should arise full of grace and forgiveness, not hatred towards others. The implication of clean words does not just exclude vulgar language, but also omits words that harm or belittle. Sometimes, people are much better off saying nothing than accidently spitting out something harmful towards another person. Many words can easily turn ugly if a person does not keep a tight reign on his speech.
As a final thought, God’s words emerge powerful. In Jeremiah, the Lord questions, “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock into pieces” (23:29)? Christians need to follow after God’s example and choose rewarding words that will be used to instruct others. God’s words come out clearly and understandable. Every believer’s words should come out carefully as God’s words do, useful to instruct fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus calls us to maximize our words and not waste our speech.
Always choosing wise words can seem like a drag sometimes, but the results can be tremendous. At any given time, words can slip out of someone’s mouth, not seeming harmful. Then later, those words come back and bite. Believers and non-believers alike, notice others who choose to maximize their words for Christ. The Bible teaches Christians to always build each other up with their language and not to tear them down. A Christian’s speech should be clean, full of grace, and used to clearly instruct others in the same way that God instructs us.