Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. [1.1] Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
The apostle would not have had to write words like these if Christians were perfect. But we’re not! We need exhorting, challenging, even rebuking sometimes. The example to follow is that of Jesus – was he ever bitter or malicious or unkind or greedy? It requires deliberate effort, allowing God’s Holy Spirit to transform us. It may take time, and we will no doubt trip up from time to time. We are a work in progress!
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!