Is God interested in the words that come out of our mouths? Yes, very much so! As we associate with people of the world, we may hear cursing, swearing, bad language, boasting, foolishness, jesting, gossip, hurtful words and so forth. There should be a great difference between what comes out of Christian’s mouths as opposed to people of the world. Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Corrupt words are those that make rotten and destroy the hearer. Rather than tearing others down, we should seek to edify or build others up. Our words should be those that the hearer enjoys hearing; pleasant, favorable, and beneficial.
But there is more. Ephesians 5:3-4 “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” What we talk about is important. Filthiness is shameful or obscene talk. Foolish talking is silly talk; talk that contains nonsense or what a fool would say. Coarse jesting includes joking or humorous language done in a vulgar or lewd fashion. Possibly this type of talk is done when people don’t know what to say – just to provoke the other person or make conversation. Well, the apostle Paul tells us that we should give thanks. The next time you don’t know what to say, try naming the things that you are thankful for and how God has blessed you in your life.
Colossians 3:8 “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” Anger, wrath and malice all imply hateful anger that is seeking vengeance; as a result of these, we may say spiteful, hateful words – totally inappropriate for Christians. Blasphemy is irreverence toward something considered sacred or holy; it can also include evil speaking and railing. Filthy language is vile conversation. Just as we want to avoid things which might physically harm us or make us ill such as poison or contaminated food, in the same way we should avoid language that is spiritually harmful and takes us away from God’s values.
Perhaps the reason that God is so interested in what we say is that our words come from our inner person. Matthew 12:34-37 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” We will be judged by the words that we speak. If you find that your words are not good words, it is a heart issue. Confess the corruption in your heart and ask God to change and purify your heart.