But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5.3-4
There are certain things that just don’t suit God’s people. There should not even be a hint of them. Paul gives a short list of things here are so serious that should ‘not once be named among us.’
The part to the list that really grabs my attention today is those things at the end of the verse.
These things are ‘not convenient.’ Literally, they don’t suit us and all have to do with our words. It should be obvious that Christians should not be involved with filthy talk, but there us a growing tendency today to even make excuses for that. Foul language, dirty language, whatever we choose to call it seems to be more and more accepted in the church and from the pulpit. Filthiness is just that. It is dirty talk and there is clearly no place for it in the heart or mouth of keyboard of God’s people.
Foolish taking is vain and empty talk that accomplishes nothing. It is wasteful talk and stuff that is said just to be heard. It’s the kind of stuff that crams social media where everyone has the chance to show their foolishness. We have to be careful not to be dragged into it because God holds us accountable for our words.
The word translated jesting is coarse joking. This isn’t that dirty talk – it is just that coarseness that permeates speech. It is the little ‘wink, wink, nod, nod’ that is not to excite and titillate without ever really saying the dirty words. It is the kind of thing that we Christian can do all the time and get that silly little giggle.
God’s people have no room for any of this stuff. Instead we are called to be thanksgivers. This world’s talk does need us to add fuel to the fire. Instead we would make a real mark if we gave thanks for all that God does for us.