Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” What are grace words? They build up and do not tear down. They are filled with encouragement that strengthens the one who hears them, as well as the one speaking them. They come from a heart that walks in truth.
Psalm 45:2 was written about Jesus. It says, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.” Proverbs 31:26 says of the virtuous wife, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” We have to ask this question: Is the law of kindness on my lips?
David had a prayer. Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Proverbs 16:24 is two-fold. It applies to the hearer as well as the speaker. It says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
All our words are first thoughts that germinated in our heart. One seed was planted through one thought. Think about how many seeds would be sown into our heart through meditating on God’s word. Psalm 104:34 says, “May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.”
There is one condition for walking in grace ~ humility. This is a very familiar verse, yet let’s look at it again. James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Verse 10 says that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord. I can’t think of a more effective way than through the gift of forgiveness.
Here is a warning for us. Hebrews 12:15 in the J. B. Phillips says, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others.” Serious words. When we are sinned against, God’s grace is instantly ready and available for us. If we fail to respond to His gift, the seed of unforgiveness is planted.
Mark 4:27 says that when seed is sown, it will sprout and grow. Verse 28 says, “…first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” Let’s apply this personally. The moment we forgive, the opportunist seed is sterilized. It will not form. There will be no fruit of bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 in the Amplified says, “…that no root of resentments (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment…”
Matthew 18:21-35 is key in our progressive sanctification. It is about forgiveness. Peter asked the Lord how many times he had to forgive someone. In verse 22 Jesus said, “…up to seventy times seven.” I learned something years ago. I was in a difficult working situation. I forgave the offending person when I woke up each morning. It paved my day with grace. It kept me constantly aware of how easy it would be to carry the offense.
When we are offended, grace is there to forgive and release the offense. If we fail to appropriate His grace, the offense will remain. The roots of bitterness go deep. They cause that bitterness to filter through every thought. In verse 34 the master turned the unforgiving servant over to the torturers. Verse 35 says, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” The unforgiving heart does not walk in grace.