“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”—–Ephesians 4:29
“And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”—–Ephesians 5:4
Over the past while there has been a movement towards downplaying the use of one’s language as any sort of sinful action. Even among those that are pastors and leaders, foul language has now become somewhat commonplace. Some even see the use of profanity and swearing as being “real” and “authentic”. How can followers of Jesus really embrace this type of thinking??
So many places in the Bible mention how we ought to be careful about not only the words that we use but also the content of the things we talk about. As individuals it is easy to fall into the trap of the peer-pressure around us to want to fit in, be funny, or even liked for that matter. And although the temptation to compromise with our speech can at times be very strong, we must all resist the urges and remain obedient to watch our tongues and guard our conversations.
In the above verses, Paul finds it important to not only once challenge us about our speech, but twice in a relatively short period of time. Both Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4 tell us that there is no place for unwholesome words or filthiness among Christians. The contrast for the believer is to talk about things that are edifying and for the building up of others while also looking to give thanks. Therefore, all this mention about how cussing and coarse joking doesn’t really matter must end for anyone who truly believes in Jesus.
Even as the world continues to decline in the area of what is appropriate language and content, the necessity to guard ourselves becomes even more important. Probably like most of you, I’ve noticed the shift from what used to be “bleeped” on television and radio is now widely accepted as okay in our society today. All of us encounter these things and may be unaware of how these things affect us and even our kids. But when the Church folds to unwholesome and filthy talk…we are in for real trouble.
So although it simple to understand and harder in practice, I thought it necessary to write briefly to encourage and challenge each of us, as a reminder, to not succumb to falling into the ditch of using profanity and language that isn’t befitting of a follower of the Lord. We each must continually be conscious of how our words and content either point us and others closer to the Lord or away from Him. Let’s be people that build others up in the Lord and choose our words carefully.