Ephesians 4:29, "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."
I read across this scripture the other day, and the words "minister grace" lept out at me. Hmmm, what does that mean? Okay, I know that we should watch our mouths (tons of scriptures about that), and not say mean things to people, we shouldn't gossip, tear down, be dishonest, etc. But..., not only are we supposed to be watching the bad that comes out of our mouth, but, we are supposed to replace those words with words that edify, or build up others. We need to be using words that benefit and instruct in the knowledge of Christ. And not only to people who are easy to be nice to, but to those who don't necessarily deserve it. I've always been taught that grace meant "unmerited favor". Grace is an act of mercy, love, kindness, helpfulness, compassion, that is undeserved. Honestly, it's not always easy to give a kind word to someone who hasn't been kind. It's not easy to give a helpful word to someone who has done us wrong or irritates us. But, this is exactly what we are told to do. Say something that edifies, builds them up. Some people are just not easy to love, and it's easier to just ignore them than to try to help them or be nice to them. But, this is what God wants of us; at church, at the store, and even at home. Often, home is the hardest place of all to put this into practice. When my husband is rude to me, I don't exactly think of sweet things to say in reply. In fact, my natural reaction (besides saying mean things) is to "minister" to my own hurt feelings. Or, to clam up and not talk at all. But, I don't think that's what this verse is saying to do. Ugh. Do I really have to do this? I think I may need to ask for some help from above (unmerited). Who knows what a difference this could make in someones life, our marriage, our home!