Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Four months ago, Northwest Airlines of Minneapolis merged with Delta Airlines of Atlanta.
Most people didn't notice the merger.
What many people did notice was this: Northwest Airlines, which used to serve pretzels on its flights, is now serving Delta's peanuts. How's that for big news?
Actually, it is big news! It's big news for people who are worried about the national salmonella outbreak that seems to be centering on peanuts produced by the Peanut Corporation of America. They have a plant in Atlanta, where Delta is headquartered.
It's news for people who have a nut allergy. And you know what I mean by that, so please don't laugh. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 3 million Americans have an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts.
One fellow who heard about the switch to peanuts said, "My wife's allergy is so severe that if someone is sitting next to her and eating peanuts, the odor is enough to trigger an allergic reaction." Peanuts on the plane are big news for people who have to watch what they put into their mouths.
On the other hand, what comes out of the mouth ought to be a concern for every Christian.
That's what Paul wrote to the Ephesian church: He said, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." The only Person I know who kept a complete lid on corrupt communication was the Savior. His Words were always appropriate for what was needed. As the old expression goes, "He comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable."
His is an example we Christians need to follow. People are sensitive; their feelings can be easily hurt. This is why, as much as we are able, we should say that which is good, edifying, and offering grace to all who hear.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You said only what was needed and appropriate. May I do the same as I try to build up my brothers and sisters and when I make a witness to the forgiveness You have won through Your life, suffering, death, and resurrection. In Your Name. Amen.
Your church may have a wonderful men's ministry in place. If so, we'd like to hear about it. If you'd like to tap into some innovative Bible studies and ministry opportunities, please check out the LHM Men's NetWork. In less than 45 days, more than 1,000 congregations have registered. You can find the MNW here: http://www.lhmmen.com.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries