Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. What we say says a lot about us as individuals and the team that we support. God wants His team to use words that actually edify and bless those we are talking with. But this takes intentional speech therapy. Total immersion in the language and culture is the best way to learn a foreign language. If wholesome speech is not currently flowing from us, we can consider a detox from movies, books and social settings where foul language runs rampant. Instead, let’s seek to put ourselves in environments where we can hear, read and practice speaking the language of Heaven.
Don’t get discouraged if this new language doesn’t come naturally overnight. It takes time to replace our polluted ways of thinking and talking with fresh and beneficial speech. But it is worth it. The Book of Proverbs gives lots of training tips, and so does Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He advises us to think about things that are pure and noble and praiseworthy. When Peter, a good friend of Jesus, wrote about following in His steps, he said that no deceit was found in Jesus’ mouth. If we want to love life and see good days we must keep our tongue from evil and our lips from unwholesome speech. James, another New Testament contributor, offered useful guidance on the subject of how to talk in ways that build up. We are blessed as we are used by God to relay wisdom in our speech during every occasion. God, help us to be a part of the blessing. May we be vocally thankful to be on Your team, to live as a member of Your family. Help us to speak the language of love. Amen.
Ephesians 4:29 AMP
Halfway through the letter to his Gentile friends in Ephesus, Paul emphasized that all people can become children of God. The word is spreading that both Israelites and non-Israelites could be connected to God, just as God said it would be when He gave the promise to Abraham. The gospel is for everyone! And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
No matter what our background is, we all can be adopted into the blended family of God! One is not born into God’s family because they have parents or grandparents who go to church. We see in God’s Story that the way into His family is through an individual belief in the good news that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through belief in His Son who died on our behalf so that our sins can be forgiven. A great exchange takes place: Jesus removes our sins from us and we inherit His riches offered through the Father’s grace. Our bad gone and His good given! Everyone can belong. There are no limits due to family history, location, status, or even poor personal choices. God extends His adoption plan to everyone and He often uses His children to share with others His plan. Belonging to Jesus is a blessing we can be happy about.
Ephesians 3:6 NLT
The opening salutation of Paul’s letter to his dear friends who lived in Ephesus is rich in blessings. He wanted them to be refreshed and to stop and think about some very good news. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. God is to be blessed for He has remarkably blessed us. And how has He blessed us? He has given us every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly realm. That is definitely a lot to take in. So Paul clarifies a bit by saying, “Be happy, be blessed.” We are adopted by the Father of it all. This is all possible through Jesus who is treasured by God. We too are treasured; Praise God! We are adopted and loved and have the opportunity to grow up and be like our new Daddy.
Is being holy and blameless our goal? If our desire is to grow in maturity, it should be. If you need a little coaching, get it. Be enthusiastic in your pursuit for Christ-likeness, and do so knowing you are blessed! Years before Paul wrote this letter, Jesus taught His followers on a mountain what it meant to live a blessed life. In the middle of His sermon Jesus said we are to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. This “perfect” in the Greek language is teleios, which means mature or full-grown, having arrived at a set goal. We are blessed and equipped to be whole because this is God’s plan for us. We can hinder that plan, however. The world offers a wide highway to travel on, but those who choose to go through the narrow gate, the way of proactively dying to selfishness in order to grow in godly maturity, are blessed beyond measure.
Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV