No evil talk! (Eph. 4:29)

“Let no evil talk

Come out

Of your mouths!

But only what is useful

For building up

The needy.

Thus,

Your words

May give grace

To those who hear them.”

πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω, ἀλλὰ εἴ τις ἀγαθὸς πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν τῆς χρείας, ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖς ἀκούουσιν.

Paul said, “Let no evil or useless talk (πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς) come out (μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω) of your mouths (ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν)!  But only what is useful for building up (ἀλλὰ εἴ τις ἀγαθὸς πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν) the needy.  Thus, your words may give grace (ἵνα δῷ χάριν) to those who hear them (τοῖς ἀκούουσιν).”  Paul did not want the Ephesians to be involved with evil or useless talk.  They should never utter anything like that.  However, their words should build up or edify the community by building up the others in need in their community.  Their words should be a grace to those who hear them.  Paul only wanted good conversations rather than bad destructive discussions.  They should build up the Christian community rather than tear it down.  Do your words help people or destroy them?