Do you remember when you were little and someone would tell you that you “couldn’t tell anyone” this secret they were about to tell you? You would promise to keep it a secret and for extra emphasis, you would shut your mouth and pretend to lock it up tight like you would a treasure chest and then throw away the key. That meant that nothing would come out of your mouth about that secret because it was locked up tight and no one knew where the key could be found!
I think about that with the Ephesians 4:29 verse that says “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.”
As human beings we say things that really aren’t necessary. Sometimes we say things to make sure people “know that we know”. Sometimes we say things to show someone else they are wrong. Sometimes we say things to bring other people down so we feel better about ourselves.
Ephesians 4:29 says that we shouldn’t say anything that is unwholesome (or in Deanna’s translation – unnecessary) unless we are building people up and it can benefit those who hear it. In other words, don’t talk bad about people!! Everyone is going through something. We don’t want people to talk about us when we are going through tough times.
I challenge us today to THINK before we open up that treasure chest of speech. Is what we are about to say going to build someone up or tear them down? Will our words wound or heal? Will we be the shining spot in someone’s day or the cloud that takes away joy?
It’s our choice but I suggest we lock up the tongue good and tight and be very selective about taking out the key.