Ephesians 4:29, NIV: 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.

On occasion, my sister-in-law will retell a time she remembers that I got up from my chair, said, “Too many words,” walked over to the television, and changed the channel off from what my teenagers were watching. Of course, it was not the number of words that was the problem—it was the number of offensive words. These days, it would seem we live in a world where anything goes, where restraint is not exercised, and supposed freedoms of speech have endowed individuals with the presumed right to spew whatever, whenever, and in whatever way they might choose. Rest assured, our freedoms in Christ do not make us free to act as we like, but free to act as Jesus would—apart from sin. Jesus said that, “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart…” And, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Since what comes out of the mouth is evidence of what is in the heart, what will others see of your heart? Does Christ show through your words? Words are powerful. Our words can draw others to Jesus, or they push them away.