Why what you say matters

Eph 5:4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting—all of which are out of character—but rather thanksgiving.

It doesn’t take too long to hear filthy language and perverted jokes when we turn on the TV. In today’s culture, sexual innuendoes and crass language are sewn throughout TV shows, advertisements, radio talk shows, magazines, bill boards and more. Perverted catch phrases can easily become the topic of conversations and jokes at work.

What we say and what we do is important

When Paul writes to the church in Ephesus he reminds us of the work of Christ, through his shed blood on the cross, in drawing us near to God. We become fellow citizens and members of God’s household. We are Christ’s workmanship created in advance for good works that we should walk in them. The language we use as we represent Christ matters to God.

In other words, when we become part of God’s family, it is sort of like entering in to a work agreement. When I began working at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital (BHVH), I had to agree to a certain work ethic. I represent the BHVH brand. The work agreement not only covers clinical decisions, safety issues, and how I treat my peers, but also how I care for our guests (patients & family members). I am responsible for how I treat others and what I say.

The same is true in the Kingdom of God. When we are saved, we agree to accept new disciplines. We accept new responsibility. When we become part of God’s family, we represent Christ. We are branded by him.

Can you imagine the confusion of one who does not know Christ, has received acts of kindness from a believer, and then heard perverted talk come from that believer’s lips? It is essential to be careful of how we say things.

Breaking Free 

Coarse joking can become a habit that is difficult to break- It is especially difficult because it is such an integral part of our culture. It is also something that can be used to “break the ice” to gain acceptance from others.

God created us to live a lifestyle of doing good works, and as agents who represent Him, how we talk is preeminently important. This is something that I have struggled with in the past. Sadly, there have been many times I have caved to peer pressure both at school and at work. This did not change until I was convicted by God’s word and then I got accountability from friends.

How are you doing in this area? For many of my friends, this is not an issue. Some even seem to have halos above their heads. But I know this is not reality for many people. Besides, everyone struggles with something. No one is perfect. I now realize that many of those who are victorious in this area truly desire to honor Christ. They want to eliminate confusion between their acts of love and the words from their lips.

Is this an area where you have struggled? What did you do or what must you do so that you can break free and represent Christ well?

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