29b But that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Immediately after prohibiting corrupt communication, Paul encourages good speech. He advises Christians to see that their words are wellchosen, to the extent that they edify others. The conversation of Christians should be honourable and beneficial, so that it edifies, rather than harms or destroys others.
Speech is a special gift from God. We must use it as His Word directs us. Here we are exhorted to use it for edifying one another. The Greek word that Paul used for “edifying” (oikodómēsis) denotes the act of building a house. In Paul’s epistles, it is used to indicate spiritual nurture or advancement.
We must, through our speech, seek to build one another up. We must speak so as to do good to others. By relating our testimony of salvation and sharing the Gospel of Christ with the unsaved, we can point some souls to Christ our Saviour. Through friendly discussions, we can impart God’s truths to the young or less mature in faith, that they may grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. We can comfort those who are weary and sad with God’s promises. We can prevent some from going astray by providing timely and wise advice. We can correct and restore those who have erred in their ways by admonishing them in love.
There is a great need for us to engage in godly conversation that will bring edification to one another. Merely refraining from corrupt speech is not good enough. Great spiritual disaster will come upon our church, friends and family members, if we choose not to speak when there is a need to do so. Where there is a lack of godly conversation, the unhindered growth of spiritual maladies will take root and fester.
We must speak with wisdom and grace to impart spiritual blessings and protection to others. May our words provide spiritual benefits. As Paul said, we must strive to “minister grace unto the hearers.” Proverbs 25:11 tells us, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Appropriate words spoken at the right time in the best manner are beautiful and precious, indeed. Let us remember that our words have power, either for good or evil. Let us, therefore, speak in such a way that will build up our hearers, and not tear them down.