March 8, 2023: Man Up!
"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving." (Ephesians 5:4, ESV)
Ephesians 5:14 is very clear! It does not need to be theologized, exegesized, or apologized for. It needs to be practiced. Does swearing, cussing, and telling off-color stories make you more of a man? And, let's not skip the women. Since when did swearing, cursing, and telling off-color stories make you more of a woman? We are believers! Children of the light! Do you think you are more culturally relevant because you speak such? Paul clearly shows that this is not Kingdom culture you are aspiring to. He speaks to three unclean, defiling types of speech.
The first is 'filthiness.'*** It comes from a word that is not a feeling of shame but of 'disgrace.' It is a shame/disgrace brought on by divine judgment. In other words, God says He disapproves of such language.
The second word translated as 'foolish talk' in our passage means "a weakness of understanding or judgment, sometimes through stupidity." *** Paul is calling those who speak such as weak-minded!
The third word He uses, translated as crude joking, is a word that means "a vulgar expression of speech or indecent speech.”*** It is something that even the vile of heart tries to avoid around children.
Instead, Paul says, "Look for something in your context that reflects God and be filled with thanksgiving that releases a culture of the Kingdom in your speech.
***Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). In Theological Dictionary of NT (p. 620). W.B. Eerdmans.
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