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Watch Your Mouth, Christian!

Now I’ve heard that command from my parents. I’ve said it to my own children. I’ve also heard it from the Apostle Paul:

“No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).

I’ve also heard it from Jesus:

“A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart” (Luke 6:45).

Watch your mouth, Christian, because your mouth is a powerful tool for the glory of God. What’s more, your words are a clear revelation of your heart. So watch your mouth as a means of checking your own heart.

Most of the time, we think about these commands in terms of abusive or foul language, as well we should. These kind of words don’t have a place in the mouths of Christians. But I want to encourage you today to consider the command in light of the Christian sub-culture that you might be a part of.

Watching your mouth in this context doesn’t mean you don’t use the language of faith. It doesn’t mean you don’t talk about propitiation, or justification, or Martin Luther, or church councils, or whatever. It only means that as you say these things, you do so in an attitude of service to those around you. It means you don’t willy nilly throw out the biggest words you happened to have learned expecting everyone else to know what you’re talking about in your small group or Sunday school class. Instead, in an attitude of humility, you think before you speak, and you consider:

Is the comment I am about to make going to help others, or is it going to make me look smarter?

That’s another way we watch our language. Christian, don’t worship at the idol of your own cleverness. Instead, consider that your speech is another way by which you can serve others well.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.