Ephesians 4:29-30 - 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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
When our boys were teenagers, two of them shared a room. The combination of sweaty boys, dirty clothes, nasty sneakers, and the occasional bowl of forgotten food stuffs (which were not even supposed to be there in the first place, but I digress) made for a foul smell. It permeated the room, the hallway, and eventually the adjacent rooms. It was rotten.
It’s interesting that Paul chose this word “rotten” which is translated as “corrupting” in the ESV. The point is this: our words can be rotten and they can be a detriment to others around us.
Paul contrasts this with “only such [words] as is good for building up … giving grace to those who hear.” It’s important to ask ourselves if the things we say build up or tear down. Do our words speak grace to others? Are our words, which Jesus said are really an overflow of what’s going on in our hearts (Luke 6:45), like the words of Jesus? And how does God see our words?
Verse 30 implores us to “not grieve the Holy Spirit.” Have we considered how God feels? He’s a person, after all. He has emotions too. We’re saved because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, and we’re “sealed”; however, our God is a person. When we speak and act, do we seek to please Him or do we grieve Him?
• Think of the most gracious person you know. What makes them so gracious?
• What things in your life can be improved upon so your “room doesn’t stink”?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for His patience and grace to us so that we might be gracious to others (in Jesus).