By Elizabeth Prata
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).
In this verse we have a juxtaposition: corruption/grace. The NASB uses the word ‘unwholesome’, so, unwholesome/grace. Strong’s Lexicon defines corrupting as “rotten, putrid, figuratively over-ripe; expresses what is of poor quality, unfit for use.” We know what kind of talk that is. The Bible is negative on unwholesome of talk, which is- slander, gossip, lies, whispering, murmuring, dishonesty, busybodies… (Proverbs 16:28, Romans 1:29, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:13 etc).
In the Ephesians verse, the word grace means, “grace, extension-toward. Both refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.”
When we speak wholesomely, He is near to us, blesses us, and reaches toward us.
So the next time you’re (I’m) tempted to gossip or say anything corrupting, picture rotten fruit coming out of the mouth, vomiting putridness all over the person. Alternately, picture the talk as flowers of grace reaching for the person, the very Lord Himself among the blooms reaching forward and extending Himself to them. Give grace.
This goes for social media, too.
In these days of hate and upset and negativity, imagine the freshness of graceful talk. I need to remember, and I hope others do too, that we need to give grace as well as receive it.