“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.”
Words have repercussions, and once you say something, it is hard to repair the damage your words have caused. Sometimes our words are more destructive than our actions. Sometimes, it is not what you did that hurt someone, but what you said and how you said it. There is no excuse to say things in a hurtful manner. God says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” The LORD understands the power of the spoken word. The word “corrupt” means to destroy or break. In other words, God warns the believer about saying things that will destroy or hurt someone. What type of words are destructive? In verse 31, God goes through a list of words that are destructive. Let me share and explain these destructive words.
First, bitter words are destructive words. The word “bitterness” means sharp. In other words, God warns against speaking in a harsh manner. Sometimes it may not be what we say that hurts, but how we say it. Position never gives you a right to speak harshly to those you lead. This only leads to hurt feelings and destroys the spirit of those you lead.
Second, wrathful words are destructive words. Wrathful words are words spoken in anger. In other words, wrathful speaking is saying what comes to your mind when you are angry. My friend, you will often say things you never intended to say in a moment of anger; this is why you need to be careful to be Spirit-controlled. Normally the best thing to say when you are angry is nothing. Walk away and take time to cool down before you choose to speak.
Third, angry words are destructive words. Angry words are words spoken to hurt someone. Normally a person resorts to angry words when they feel they are losing the battle in an argument; therefore, the only thing they can do is to start saying things that will intentionally hurt the other person. No believer should ever speak things to hurt someone else. Never be guilty of hurting another’s spirit because you wanted to win an argument.
Fourth, clamourous words are destructive words. Speaking clamorously is going off on a rampage against someone to the point that you hurt their spirit; it is not knowing when to stop. You don’t have to say everything you think. You can avoid hurting others by being brief in your comments instead of just continually having to drive your point across. Most people can get what you want when you say it one time, but to continually go after someone time and time again in the same conversation only hurts another’s spirit.
Fifth, evil words are destructive words. Evil is speaking with the intent to hurt. Don’t ever be guilty of saying things about people that just is not true. A believer should never accuse someone of something they know not to be true.
Sixth, malicious words are destructive words. The word “malice” comes from the same word as militia. In other words, don’t spread things about people that hurts their character.
God makes it clear that the only words that a believer should speak are kind words or words meant to build. If you don’t want to speak destructively, only let kind words come from your lips.