29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
This verse is nestled in a list of other application verses. Paul has given us a command to put off our old self and put on our new self, here is another perfect example of how to do that. The word for “corrupt” used here also means useless or rotten… As Americans we commonly talk down about one another as a joke. We have such a habit of this and it seems to be the way most men joke around with one another. Yet, as a process of getting rid of our old selves, we are called to be putting on the character of the new creation. The new creation builds up one another with exhorting and edifying rather than chastising. This is important because everything in the world is actively pulling us down. We need to be useful resources for one another, bringing each other motivation, encouragement, etc. Yet we still dwell in our old nature and tear one another down.
Perhaps you don’t joke like this… but you speak negatively about people, or situations for whatever reason. I did some research that I found quite interesting and perhaps you will too. See the original greek language says “Any word unwholesome out of the mouth of you not let go forth.” Greek is a little different than english as the words are able to be put out of order and still mean the same thing. Regardless, let’s zoom in on the word “any” (activate zoom lense). This word means “all, the whole, every kind of.” God is calling us to actively get rid of every kind of negative speech. This means not just the negative jokes towards your brother or sister but every negative Debbie Downer phrase about anything. That means “it’ll just fall about like everything else I do” counts as a no go for us. That means “I’ll probably lose it anyways” or “they will eventually act up again” or anything along those lines that isn’t “necessary for edification.” Edification is the act of building or spiritual advancement. so if what you’re saying isn’t useful for building up then don’t say it… it’s simple. However, that does mean that some negative things (constructive criticism, acknowledgement of shortcomings, etc.) are ok to say as they are used for building up.
We are not to speak useless things that do not build up or help our brother or sisters to advance in spirituality… but it doesn’t stop there, it includes things about ourselves, situations, etc. We are supposed to be different! Let us stop speaking negatively about things, assuming the worst, or simply downing people for the sake of humor. We are called to be different and we must actively embrace that if we want to demonstrate to the world what God can do. He is in the business of changing our lives!! Let’s fully walk in sanctification and embrace God’s character, the character He desires us to have.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God that you can live differently than you once did. You have the ability to walk in the new creation! Then spend 2-3 minutes asking God to show you the areas of your life that you are speaking negatively about yourself, others, or circumstance. Ask Him to help you change that habit.
Begin to speak with wholesome talk. When people are complaining about things, view the situation from a different angle and speak positively about it. When you encounter people complaining about the snow in spring, find a way to look at it positively… you may need to pray and fast for that revelation. lol