EnCourage: Examining The Purpose for Our Words


Entering the office on Monday, I encountered a very strange smell. I quickly discovered that the refrigerator door had been left slightly cracked over the weekend and that it had obviously not been cooling its contents properly.

Everything that was supposed to be cold had become quite warm. You know exactly what happens when cheese and dairy gets hot. It molds. It decays. It rots, and then it inevitably stinks. My co-workers and I spent the first half-hour of the day cleaning out a nasty fridge!

The sobering reality of our experience is that our words can have a similar effect as the refrigerator in my office. They can either preserve and sweeten our relationships, or they can corrupt, decay, and rot them. For good or bad, our words have power.

Ephesians 4:29 says,

“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.”

Thankfully, God has designed our words to have a preserving, sweetening effect on others. As the people of God, we have the privilege of speaking in ways that build others up. Our little words can actually impart grace!

There have been so many times over the course of my life, when God has used someone’s words to impart grace to me.

    Hope comes through words.

    Comfort flows through words.

    Counsel is given through words.

    Forgiveness is extended through words.

    Grace is imparted to us through words.

God wants to use our little words to encourage, strengthen, comfort, and build up His people.

Those who have been consistently torn down by this world can be built up by God’s Word, through us.

Isn’t it encouraging to know that you can be a means of imparting grace to someone else today?

And even in the midst of our imperfections and the times we fail, we can look to the one who was perfect in all of his communication and never spoke a corrupt word. We look to Jesus and have hope:

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment — what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).

“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” (John 8:29)

The good news for all of us is that there is a Savior whose words and actions were fully pleasing to God, the Father, and those who are in Christ have been clothed in his righteousness.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:1,14,17)

Tomorrow, we’ll conclude this series by looking at The Potential In Our Words.

I'm a husband, father of four, healthcare IT recruiter, pastor and writer. I live in the greater Nashville, TN area where I serve as an elder with Redeeming Grace Church (www.rgcnashville.com).