“…those who follow Jesus have better uses for language…” I thank You, my heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your Holy Angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen
- Martin Luther’s Morning Prayer
Ephesians 5: 3-5
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
3-4 Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.
5 You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
In sticking to our theme of “Communication”, I think Paul makes it pretty clear in these verses that our actions and words can communicate who we are, and as Christ followers there are certain actions and words that just “doesn’t fit our style”. To live and speak in a way that dis-honors Christ, and therefore the Father, leaves us in a place absent of His truth…His Grace.
The part of Sunday’s sermon, and these verses, that really resonate with me this morning is just how important language...words…are to God, and how “Jesus empowers us to communicate: Grace-fully and Truth-fully, by communicating Help-fully” vs hurtfully… “those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that.”
It was sort of ironic that this past week I had an encounter with one of my sons, in which I attempted to impart what I thought was some much need truth into the conversation, upon which all communication was abruptly halted and ended with him vacating the area. There was no raised voices, no ugly or course words…just the truth…laid out in what I thought was a calm, fatherly fashion. Then enters the “wise one of relationships”…and thank heavens she did. (I think Pastor included something about how women are just better at relationships than men…he was right…maybe I should go back and re-listen to that part. Oh, and BTW, I wasn’t at PoG on Sunday and I’m thankful I could go to our web site to hear the sermon & get the sermon notes).
Kristi shared that there was nothing inherently wrong with what I said…it just would have been better if I’d chosen different words. Then she asked me a question…was what I said just about “the truth”, and how I thought it should be communicated…or was it about a father reaching out in a “Help-fully” understanding way to his son, so that the truth could be received with grace and love, and therefore have a much deeper and lasting effect. Well, thankfully our son re-entered the area, and I got a second chance to connect “Help-fully” with my son…thanks to my wife…and Pastors sermon…and His Word…and I’m here to tell ya…all went well and ended well.
…maybe I am harder to understand than I think.
Blessings to you and yours,