29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
This is one of the top Christian blindspot verses in the whole Bible. What is a blindspot verse? A teaching from God that is directly violated by many, but hardly ever considered. In Christian families and Christian churches, we directly violate this particular teaching time and again from generation to generation. So often, what comes out of our mouths is not good, it is not helpful and it is not encouraging.
The Bible says, “Speak the truth in love,” but it is only in kind and tender relationships that we can “speak the truth in love.” We may think we are being helpful, but we don’t have the spiritual maturity or skill to speak in such a way that gives helpful feedback. Instead we say things in a way that is heard as harsh criticism and shame.
When Christians speak negatively with each other, in their homes, in their churches, it grieves the Father and weakens any influence for good we might have. We are called to be encouragers not discouragers.
And language is not just about words. Here, I think of parents. The most foul and abusive language parents can ever use has nothing to do with the “s” word or the “f” word, or, heaven forbid, the “G-D-it” words. The most foul and abusive language a parent can use is probably silence. The lack of words. The most foul and abusive language ever is the language of silence where a child never hears this simple phrase: “I love you.”
Think about it. There are people you know who have parents who never said, “I love you.” Some of you have parents who were never told they were loved by one of their parents. You may be the child of a parent who hardly ever or never told you or tells you they love you. I am so sorry. You may be the child of a parent who never praised you, only belittled you, who tried to tear you down over and over and over and over. This is pure evil and sinful and they couldn’t be more sick. They possess sin sick souls. And here is the irony.
Those parents who are so cold and ruthless with their children may even have consider themselves strong Christians. They would never think of cussing! If they ever caught their child cussing, out comes the soap! How dare you say, “Ass?” or dammit?” “Good Christians don’t swear!”
No how dare you shameful parent! You did not consider how precious your son or daughter is to their Father God? He adores them! How dare you!
If it were up to me, I would have a permanent bar of soap ready and available and I would wash out your mouth for not encouraging your child every second of every day. I would wash it out for eternity.
But, if I consider those parents through the eyes of God, I begin to realize what they must have gone through when they were children that they would become such a spiteful person later. This doesn’t excuse them, but it does make it possible to move toward forgiveness.
When someone is using foul or abusive language, what is your response? Is there another way you could handle this?