Ephesians 4:29 - Our Words Should Edify; How Its Done.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) Do not let any 
unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what 
is helpful for building others up according to 
their needs, that it may benefit those who 

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) Dont use foul or 
abusive language. Let everything you say be good and 
helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement 
to those who hear them.  

Ephesians 4:29 (EAV) Let no foul or 
polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or 
worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only 
such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the 
spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the 
need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing 
and give grace (Gods favor) to those who hear 


Corrupt or Unwholesome Talk. 
   Foul speech is the sign of a corrupt 
heart, for out of the abundance of the heart the 
mouth speaketh (Matt. 12:34). Profanity and 
obscene jests and songs, even the frivolous and 
insipid conversation, have no place in the 
Christians life; indeed, they are the hallmark of the 
unregenerate spirit. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Edify or Building Others Up. 
   While speaking does not always have to be 
of a somber or even serious character, it 
should always edify or build up, making men better 
than they were before they heard the words. As in 
v. 28 the Christians work was to be for the 
benefit of others, so here his words also are to be 
for the good of his fellow men. [SDA Bible 


Our Words Matter Much
   Abraham Lincolns coffin was pried open 
on more than one occasion. 
   Once in 1887, twenty-two years after his 
assassination. Why? It was not to determine if he had died 
of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booths 
derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the 
country that his coffin was empty. A select group of 
witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, 
then watched as the casket was resealed with 
   Fourteen years later, the martyred 
mans withered body was viewed again - this time 
by even more witnesses - for the same grim 
purpose! Finally, the corpse was permanently embedded 
in a crypt at Springfield. 
   Rumors can be cruel. Lacking 
authoritative facts and direct sources, information is 
loosely disseminated, creating unrest, fear, and 
harm. Thats why God makes clear the importance 
of using our words to speak grace, not spread 
   Let everything you say be good and 
helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement 
to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 
   The tongue can pry open more caskets, 
expose more closet skeletons, and stir up more 
toxic, scandalous dust than any other tool on 
   So I submit four suggestions for 
silencing rumor-mongers: 
   1.	Identify sources by name. If someone 
is determined to share damaging or hurtful 
information, request that the source be named. 
   2.	Support evidence with facts. Refuse to 
listen unless honest-to-goodness truth is 
communicated. You can tell. Truth is rarely veiled. 
   3.	Ask the person, May I quote you? 
Its remarkable how quickly rumor-spreaders can 
turn red - and begin backpedaling. 
   4.	Openly say, I dont appreciate 
hearing that. This approach is for the strong  
but its a sure way to halt garbage delivery 
to your ears. 
   Heres the best strategy: become a 
model of grace and encouragement with your words. 
Have you slipped into the ranks of the rumor 
mill? If so, I urge you to stop and to reflect on 
your words. 
   What you say matters to those around you, 
and especially to the Lord your God, who knows 
all, sees all, and hears all. [Chuck Swindoll 


We are counseled to let no corrupt 
communication proceed out of our mouth; but a corrupt 
communication is not simply something that is vile and 
vulgar. It is any communication that will eclipse 
from the mind the view of Christ, that will blot 
from the soul true sympathy and love. It is a 
communication in which the love of Christ is not 
expressed, but rather sentiments of an un-Christlike 
character (Letter 43, 1895).  6BC1117 

   The right culture and use of the power of 
speech has to do with every line of Christian work; 
it enters into the home life, and into all our 
intercourse with one another. We should accustom 
ourselves to speak in pleasant tones, to use pure and 
correct language, and words that are kind and 
courteous. Sweet, kind words are as dew and gentle 
showers to the soul. The Scripture says of Christ 
that grace was poured into His lips that He might 
"know how to speak a word in season to him that is 
weary." Ps. 45:2; Isa. 50:4. And the Lord bids us, 
"Let your speech be alway with grace" (Col. 4:6) 
"that it may minister grace unto the hearers" 
(Eph. 4:29). 
   In seeking to correct or reform others we 
should be careful of our words. They will be a 
savor of life unto life or of death unto death. In 
giving reproof or counsel, many indulge in sharp, 
severe speech, words not adapted to heal the 
wounded soul. By these ill-advised expressions the 
spirit is chafed, and often the erring ones are 
stirred to rebellion. All who would advocate the 
principles of truth need to receive the heavenly oil of 
love. Under all circumstances reproof should be 
spoken in love. Then our words will reform but not 
exasperate. Christ by His Holy Spirit will supply the 
force and the power. This is His work. 
   Not one word is to be spoken unadvisedly. 
No evil speaking, no frivolous talk, no fretful 
repining or impure suggestion, will escape the lips 
of him who is following Christ. The apostle 
Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, "Let no 
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." 
Eph. 4:29. A corrupt communication does not mean 
only words that are vile. It means any expression 
contrary to holy principles and pure and undefiled 
religion. It includes impure hints and covert 
insinuations of evil. Unless instantly resisted, these 
lead to great sin. 
   Upon every family, upon every individual 
Christian, is laid the duty of barring the way against 
corrupt speech. When in the company of those who 
indulge in foolish talk, it is our duty to change 
the subject of conversation if possible. By the 
help of the grace of God we should quietly drop 
words or introduce a subject that will turn the 
conversation into a profitable channel. 
   It is the work of parents to train their 
children to proper habits of speech. The very best 
school for this culture is the home life. From the 
earliest years the children should be taught to speak 
respectfully and lovingly to their parents and to one 
another. They should be taught that only words of 
gentleness, truth, and purity must pass their lips. Let 
the parents themselves be daily learners in the 
school of Christ. Then by precept and example they 
can teach their children the use of "sound 
speech, that cannot be condemned." Titus 2:8. This 
is one of the greatest and most responsible of 
their duties. 
   As followers of Christ we should make our 
words such as to be a help and an encouragement to 
one another in the Christian life. Far more than 
we do, we need to speak of the precious 
chapters in our experience. We should speak of the 
mercy and loving-kindness of God, of the matchless 
depths of the Saviour's love. Our words should be 
words of praise and thanksgiving. If the mind and 
heart are full of the love of God, this will be 
revealed in the conversation. It will not be a 
difficult matter to impart that which enters into our 
spiritual life. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, 
clear perceptions of truth, unselfish purposes, 
yearnings for piety and holiness, will bear fruit in 
words that reveal the character of the heart 
treasure. When Christ is thus revealed in our speech, 
it will have power in winning souls to Him. 
   We should speak of Christ to those who 
know Him not. We should do as Christ did. 
Wherever He was, in the synagogue, by the wayside, in 
the boat thrust out a little from the land, at 
the Pharisee's feast or the table of the 
publican, He spoke to men of the things pertaining to 
the higher life. The things of nature, the 
events of daily life, were bound up by Him with the 
words of truth. The hearts of His hearers were 
drawn to Him; for He had healed their sick, had 
comforted their sorrowing ones, and had taken their 
children in His arms and blessed them. When He opened 
His lips to speak, their attention was riveted 
upon Him, and every word was to some soul a savor 
of life unto life. 
   So it should be with us. Wherever we are, 
we should watch for opportunities of speaking 
to others of the Saviour. If we follow Christ's 
example in doing good, hearts will open to us as 
they did to Him. Not abruptly, but with tact born 
of divine love, we can tell them of Him who is 
the "Chiefest among ten thousand" and the One 
"altogether lovely." Cant. 5:10, 16. This is the very 
highest work in which we can employ the talent of 
speech. It was given to us that we might present 
Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour.  COL336-9 

   Jesus proceeded to lay down a principle 
that would make oath taking needless. He teaches 
that the exact truth should be the law of speech. 
"Let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and 
whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one." 
   These words condemn all those meaningless 
phrases and expletives that border on profanity. 
They condemn the deceptive compliments, the 
evasion of truth, the flattering phrases, the 
exaggerations, the misrepresentations in trade, that are 
current in society and in the business world. They 
teach that no one who tries to appear what he is 
not, or whose words do not convey the real 
sentiment of his heart, can be called truthful. 
   If these words of Christ were heeded, 
they would check the utterance of evil surmising 
and unkind criticism; for in commenting upon the 
actions and motives of another, who can be certain 
of speaking the exact truth? How often pride, 
passion, personal resentment, color the impression 
given! A glance, a word, even an intonation of the 
voice, may be vital with falsehood. Even facts may 
be so stated as to convey a false impression. 
And "whatsoever is more than" truth, "is of the 
evil one." 
   Everything that Christians do should be 
as transparent as the sunlight. Truth is of 
God; deception, in every one of its myriad forms, 
is of Satan; and whoever in any way departs 
from the straight line of truth is betraying 
himself into the power of the wicked one. Yet it is 
not a light or an easy thing to speak the exact 
truth. We cannot speak the truth unless we know the 
truth; and how often preconceived opinions, mental 
bias, imperfect knowledge, errors of judgment, 
prevent a right understanding of matters with which 
we have to do! We cannot speak the truth unless 
our minds are continually guided by Him who is 
   Through the apostle Paul, Christ bids us, 
"Let your speech be alway with grace." "Let no 
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but 
that which is good to the use of edifying, that 
it may minister grace unto the hearers." 
Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:29. In the light of these 
scriptures the words of Christ upon the mount are seen 
to condemn jesting, trifling, and unchaste 
conversation. They require that our words should be not 
only truthful, but pure. 
   Those who have learned of Christ will 
"have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of 
darkness." Ephesians 5:11. In speech, as in life, they 
will be simple, straightforward, and true; for 
they are preparing for the fellowship of those 
holy ones in whose mouth "was found no guile." 
Revelation 14:5. MB67-9 

Men are influenced by their own words. Often 
under a momentary impulse, prompted by Satan, they 
give utterance to jealousy or evil surmising, 
expressing that which they do not really believe; but 
the expression reacts on the thoughts. They are 
deceived by their words, and come to believe that 
true which was spoken at Satan's instigation. 
Having once expressed an opinion or decision, they 
are often too proud to retract it, and try to 
prove themselves in the right, until they come to 
believe that they are. It is dangerous to utter a 
word of doubt, dangerous to question and 
criticize divine light. The habit of careless and 
irreverent criticism reacts upon the character, in 
fostering irreverence and unbelief.  DA323 


The Essence of Conversation
   Its important to remember in any 
conversation the same truth that applies to every other 
area of your life: Its not about you. 
   What do you think is going to happen if 
you start a conversation with your agenda, your 
hurt, your complaint, or your problem? Youre 
not going to get very far! 
   Every conversation should start by 
empathizing with the needs of the other person. What are 
their hurts? What are their interests? What are 
their fears? What are their problems? 
   "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out 
of your mouths, but only what is helpful for 
building others up according to their needs, that it 
may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29 
   There are four commands in this verse: 
Speak only what is helpful, build others up, defer 
to others needs, and benefit others. None of 
those commands are about you. 
   Youll get your turn at some point. 
Youll have your chance to speak your frustration 
or fear or need or opinion - but dont start 
   Here's how to start: When you sit down to 
the conversation, say, "You go first." Then let 
them speak without any interruption. Don't ask 
questions. Don't ask for clarification. Don't 
challenge. Take notes if necessary. But just let them 
speak. That shows you're aware. That shows you're 
paying attention. That shows you care. 
   Theres another way to show you care: 
Summarize what the other person said. You say, Let 
me repeat back to you what I think I heard you 
say." You paraphrase what you heard them saying so 
that they can affirm or correct you and maintain 
healthy communication. This shows them that you 
cared enough to listen and also to make sure they 
were understood. Its a powerful way to show 
love in any relationship. 
   Its human nature to want to focus on 
yourself. But the sign of a master communicator is 
having enough humility to make the other person the 
focus of the conversation and make them feel heard 
and understood. [Daily Devotional by Rick 
Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/] 

We Become What We Say
   Why is the tongue so important? Because 
the expression of a thing deepens the 
impression. A word uttered becomes a word made flesh - 
in us. We become the incarnation of what we 
express. Jesus said, "For by your words you will be 
acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Mt 
12:37). After I saw that a person becomes what he 
says, I have looked at this verse in a different 
light. If you tell a lie, you become a lie. The 
deepest punishment of a lie is to be the one who 
tells the lie. That person has to live with 
someone he cannot trust.  
   Now look at what I am saying from the 
opposite perspective. When we express good things, 
positive things, loving things, scriptural things, 
these things go deeper into us. Clear expression 
deepens impression. A brilliant young physicist 
tells how he often discusses complex issues 
relating to physics with his wife who doesn't know 
the first thing about the subject. He told a 
friend, "I describe in detail what I am doing and 
she doesn't understand a word. But sometimes 
when I'm through - I do."  
   If it is true - and I believe it is - 
that we become the incarnation of what we 
express, then how careful we ought to be to ensure 
that what we say is guarded and governed by 
truth, integrity, and kindness. Always remember: 
every word you utter becomes flesh"in you.  
   O Father, how awesome is this thought - I 
become the incarnation of what I express. Cleanse 
me deep within so that I may be pure in soul as 
well as speech. I would be a clarified person. 
Grant it please, dear Father. In Jesus' name. 
Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn 
Hughes devotional re Pro. 15:2] 

Dangers of Speaking before Listening
   One of my favorite TV shows is The 
Honeymooners. The iconic lead character, Ralph Kramden, 
would say, "I've got a big mouth!" whenever he 
talked too much and got into trouble. It was a 
hilarious form of self-correcting on the show. But I 
can relate in real life those times I've said 
things I didn't think through. 
   Many of us have been in Ralph's shoes. 
David prayed for wisdom to keep his mouth shut, 
even "put a muzzle on my mouth" (Psalm 39:1 NIV) 
- smart man! It's only human to say things out 
of anger, frustration, sadness, or even fear. 
We've all done it. The Word of God says that no 
man can tame the tongue and calls it "an unruly 
evil" (James 3:8). But we are still responsible 
for what we say and need to be careful. 
   We misspeak or may retaliate when someone 
has hurt us. I have made that mistake (more than 
once), and I've always regretted it immediately 
afterward. The Lord wasn't pleased with me and I felt 
foolish. I know better now, so I make that mistake 
less and less. I understand now that when I'm 
tempted to respond to negativity with a snide 
remark, Jesus wants me to take the high road. 
There's nothing to prove by saying harsh words to 
someone. I know correcting those whose words hurt is 
sometimes necessary, but when we speak the truth, we 
should speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15). Jesus 
knew the power of words and used His wisely 
(Matthew 12:37), and we should too. by Carol Mackey 
   Faith Step: Here's an exercise: When 
you're getting ready to say something out of fear, 
anger, or frustration, imagine Jesus is standing 
right next to you. Count to five and then respond. 
See what a difference it makes. [Mornings With 
Jesus 2019 Devotional by Guideposts and 

Gossip: Dish the Dirt
   According to the dictionary, gossip is "a 
report, often malicious, about another person's 
behavior." It's a big relationship killer and should be 
avoided at all costs. I was reminded of this when 
someone said to me, "Did you hear about--?"  
   My immediate response was "Do I need to 
hear this?"  
   The person speaking was a little taken 
aback by my response, but it did take the 
conversation in a different direction. The point is that 
gossip is harmful, and just about the only way to 
catch yourself before you get caught up in it is 
to prepare a response ahead of time. 
   Does that mean we go around with our 
heads in the sand, unwilling to acknowledge that 
someone has a problem? Of course not. But the Bible 
is clear about what to do when we become aware 
of another person's unwise behavior. In Matthew 
5, we are told to go to that person and address 
it directly. What should we do if another 
person has a problem with us? The same thing. We go 
and work it out. Our first thought should always 
be to restore the relationship by speaking 
words of truth and encouragement. 
   Lord God, I know there is something 
compelling about hearing of someone else's failures. 
Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves in 
comparison. But I see the damage gossip can cause. Help 
me do what is pleasing in your sight. In Jesus' 
name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional 
by John & Johnny Baker] 


Joyful Noise
   I doubt many people would argue about the 
power of the spoken word. 
   We don't need a master's in psychology to 
know that our hearts leap at the sound of 
affirming words. It's just how God wired us. Any 
co-worker with a new hairdo will agree. Any toddler 
who is potty training or husband who just closed 
the big deal will nod emphatically as 
well. We possess a tremendous ability to very 
simply "make someone's day" with heartfelt praise 
or to even alter the course of a life with the 
power of our words. 
   Oprah, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have 
all, at one point, attributed their early success 
to the empowering encouragement of someone 
else. Perhaps it was just a small phrase or 
statement, but one that was instrumental in building up 
or perhaps even just holding up hope and belief 
for a brief second. That can be all the time it 
takes to get someone to look at the mirror 
   Conversely, it doesn't take that same 
graduate degree to know that the power of words can 
be unleashed as perhaps the most primitive of 
weapons. Most of us would agree that whoever penned 
that little ditty about "sticks and stones may 
break my bones, but words will never hurt me" was 
obviously never a fifth grader. Words can not only 
hurt, but they can leave shrapnel in the soul long 
after the explosion hits and the smoke clears. 
Next time you need a reminder about the power of 
the negative word, dust off the book of James. 
It's been said that the tongue is the strongest 
muscle in the body. I think the spirit would 
   So... having taken a moment to consider 
the power and impact of both our life-giving, 
affirming words as well as the life-robbing, 
destructive power of the tongue... here's one more 
thought to chew on, (pardon the pun). What about the 
power of words never spoken? For me, I can look 
back on my life and count too many times when I'd 
wished I'd listened to my gut (and the Holy Spirit) 
and just had the courage to open my mouth and 
let my heart spill out, regardless of the 
awkward moment. You've heard the rather overused 
challenge to live each day as it if were your last... 
but there is real wisdom there. Why wait to say 
"I love you?" Why wait one more day to forgive? 
Or to ask for forgiveness? There is a reason 
that Paul, in Ephesians 4, encourages us not to 
let the sun go down on our anger. Perhaps 
because he knew, as a hunted and persecuted man, 
that a sunrise the next morning was not something 
to be assumed. He understood, better than 
anyone, the importance of keeping his accounts 
   Say it now. Go there. The tongue might be 
powerful, but so are clenched teeth and a firmly set 
jaw. And silence can speak volumes we never meant 
to say. Matthew 12:34 reminds us that what is 
in our hearts, will come spilling out of our 
mouths. If your heart is full today, or even broken, 
consider springing a leak and letting someone know. 
The relief and healing that may follow will make 
you a believer in the power of words, all over 
again. By Nichole Nordeman Dove Award-Winning 


   Watch your words diligently. Words have 
such great power to bless or to wound. When you 
speak carelessly or negatively, you damage others 
as well as yourself. This ability to verbalize 
is an awesome privilege, granted only to those 
I created in My image. You need help in 
wielding this mighty, power responsibly.  
   Though the world applauds quick-witted 
retorts, My instructions about communication are 
quite different: Be quick to listen, slow to 
speak, and slow to become angry. Ask My Spirit to 
help you whenever you speak. I have trained you 
to pray - "Help me? Holy Spirit" - before 
answering the phone, and you have seen the benefits of 
this discipline. Simply apply the same discipline 
to communicating with people around you. If 
they are silent, pray before speaking to them. If 
they are talking, pray before responding. These 
are split-second prayers, but they put you in 
touch with My Presence. In this way, your speaking 
comes under the control of My Spirit. As positive 
speech patterns replace your negative ones, the 
increase in your Joy will amaze you. (Pro. 12:18; 
Jam. 1:19; Eph, 4:29) [Jesus Calling by Sarah 


Ephesians 4:29 - Our Words Should Edify.


Colossians 4:6 - Speaking with Grace 
Seasoned with Salt. 


James 1:19 - Be Quick to Listen and Slow to 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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