Why God Made Your Mouth

Grace will come out of our mouths only if grace is already living in our hearts (Matthew 12:34).

Gracious words straighten bent-over saints, strengthen tottering legs, bind up bruised arms, and grow each other into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). “Give grace,” in other words, is a call to imitate the God whose words make worlds bloom into being (Psalm 8:3). Give life. See the image-bearer in front of you, and skillfully apply “the truth . . . in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21). Match specific words from God to specific needs in others.

 

The average person speaks at least 7,000 words a day, or about 50,000 words a week — the length of a short book. We are authors, all of us, publishing 52 books a year from this printing press called the mouth.

Which should make us pause occasionally to consider what kind of words we’re sending out into the world. Is it a better place because of our words, or worse? Do we wound others, or heal them (Proverbs 12:18)? Do we commend the fear of the Lord, or pour out folly (Proverbs 15:2)? Do we refresh others’ spirits, or break them (Proverbs 15:4)? For how little we often think of our words, they hold the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

If we’re going to steward our speech well, we need to regularly remember why God gave us words at all. Perhaps no one verse captures his purpose clearer than a command from Paul to the Ephesians:

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. (Ephesians 4:29)

Here is a charter for the dinner table, the classroom, the smartphone, the office, and everywhere else we open our mouths: give grace.

Speak Grace

Given all that Paul says about grace in Ephesians, he could scarcely have handed our mouths a higher calling.

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