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Unwholesome Talk

Words of Faith Final

Unwholesome Talk

Words of Faith 3-18-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 4

  [29] 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. 


      It’s not your imagination.  The language of our culture has become less civil and more vulgar.  What used to be unwholesome talk on late night television is now commonly accepted in the family hour.  Schoolyards now sound more like construction sites.  Words once only heard in the locker room are now common in the boardroom. But is what this text is about?

      The dictionary defines "unwholesome" as detrimental to physical, mental, or moral well-being.  Wholesome means promoting health or well-being of body, mind, or spirit... Sound in body, mind, or morals... Having the simple health or vigor of normal domesticity. 

      Paul was talking about much more than "cuss words."  The word Paul used here was quite strong.  Sapros means rotten, putrid, morally worthless, bad, or corrupt.  It is the same root as the world septic meaning and infection or poison.  A septic tank holds refuse for the purpose of decay.  An anti-septic is an antimicrobial that reduces putrification and sepsis.  That is strong language about more than strong language.

        Believers are not to speak rotten words, decaying comments, corrupt ideas, poisonous thoughts, or infectious negativity. These are the sorts of things that cause putrification and organ failure in the Body of Christ.

       Instead, we are to speak those things that are helpful-- good and of benefit.  We are to utter those things that build up others and meet needs. We are to speak in ways that benefit those who listen and convey grace.

        This includes malicious gossip and slander or anything that injures others and sparks dissension. One’s words are to be true and pure and also are to contribute to benefiting others.  James wrote that the tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell (3:6).

        So, before I open my mouth, Scripture calls me to think!  Before I talk, I must ask--   Is this helpful to those who will hear?  Is this good and of benefit?  Will these words build up this person and strengthen them in the Lord?  Does this meet a need in this person to encourage or sharpen them?  Will these words convey the grace of Jesus to those who hear?


       Lord, make my tongue an instrument of Your Gospel and peace.  Take away the sharp statements and unwholesome talk.  Speak blessing and grace through me.  Cause my words to honor You and uplift others.  Strengthen those around me through the words of my lips and the actions of my heart.  In Jesus’ Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.