Ah, the carpet…The most filthy and vile way to cover your floors. Countless amounts of dust, dirt, and who-knows-what can get into your carpets and wear it down over time. In fact, carpets are practically made to collect dust, and care for them can be very difficult.
Most people simply vacuum and the carpets look clean, but caring for the carpet really requires professional steam cleaning. That actually get the dirt out of the carpet instead of just removing some of the surface stuff.
So, that sounds pointless to, well anything, right? But compare your average carpet to the words you speak. Consider how difficult it is when you use those words to speak negative things about others, and then try and remove their effects from you and from those around you. Evil words can be like dust or dirt that seeps into every aspect of your life, from your attitude to your actions. They can affect the people you say them to, those you say them about, and in the end, are very hard to lift out of a mind or heart.
Maybe that’s why Paul’s language is so strong in Ephesians 4:29…He says,
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that may impart grace to the hearers.
Think on that phrase…Let NO corrupt word proceed out of your mouth. What does that imply? Any word that would corrupt your thoughts about others is to poison the well so to speak. James says that when we curse those who are made in the similitude of God, we try and produce fresh water with bitter, and it should not be so. The only way to keep our hearts and the hearts of clean is to refrain from any corrupt word. That seems almost impossible, but keeping your carpet clean isn’t easy, either!
The solution from Paul is to only speak what is necessary for “edification” or building others up. When you’re upset or angry about something don’t speak evil of them. Save your words for things that build up, not things that destroy. Sure, it takes self-control, patience, forgiveness, and on occasion a little humble pie, but keeping our hearts and the hearts of those around us clean and holy is worth it, as it can impart grace to those who hear it. Let’s use our words wisely, clean our hearts as often as we can, and make sure our words are helping, not hurting others. After all, nobody like dirty carpets.