A senior citizen went to Bingo the first week after she trusted Christ. She was shocked to hear the swear words and the use of her Savior’s name as a curse word. She had never noticed it before. What had happened? Had the language suddenly changed or had she changed? She had changed. One of the signs of new life within us is a new sensitivity to sin. She decided, “No more bingo for me.” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
The Lord expects me to always use clean language. The verse has been paraphrased this way: “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. ”
Today our words do not just come from our lips, they come from our fingertips. Lips and tips! Some speak far more words with their tips on their phone or at the keyboard in just one day than they speak with their lips all week.
What does corrupt communication mean? It means bad, shameful, filthy, foul, dirty, dark, off-colored, deceitful, or inappropriate words. Would I feel comfortable if someone printed off my written communications for my parents or older Christians to read?
Casual talk or writing is one thing. But casual talk is different than using crude, course, barnyard words to express frustration or anger.
Christians would never want to say “Jesus” or “God” in a moment of shock or frustration; but should we pepper our conversations with “jeesh” or “gaad?” The ungodly use the acronym OMG to express surprise, but should we? We would never want to angrily shout, “Christ,” but when you jam your finger in the door, is it okay to say, “Crispo christo!” Do you think we would feel comfortable using such terms in the presence of Christ? Can you imagine Timothy or Dorcas in the New Testament using slang or course language to make their expressions more colorful? No!
In his epistle, James writes about a mouth out of which proceeds blessing and cursing. He said, “This should not be.” Have you read the list of banned activities and words in Ephesians 5: 3, 4? Paul wrote, “Let it not be once named among you.” Said in another way it is “there shouldn’t even be a hint or trace of it in our lives.” The list includes: shameful talk, obscenities, filthy talk, silly talk, and vulgar wit. Earlier in his letter, Paul had reminded them of what they have been saved from and saved for – an eternal inheritance and that they “are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph 2:10).
Don’t try to use borderline language to fit in or to be accepted. Did you ever think that someone may notice your clean and decent language and begin their search for Christ as a result of hearing your choice of words in contrast to others? The people marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus (Luke 4:22). We should aim to ensure our spoken and written words are clean, truthful, gracious, and acceptable to the Lord.