2006-12-07 - Beautiful Talk
Ephesians 5:4, "And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks."
One thing that we ought to learn as we grow in grace is that we have to carry our faith into every area of our life. Our habits in conversation can be one of those places that present us with a constant challenge. I don't think this passage, or Scripture in general, is telling us that we can't tell a joke or enjoy laughter. I often find that when I have a conversation with myself I am often one of the funniest people in that conversation. Rather, this passage, and Scripture as a whole, admonishes us to be careful with our conversations. "The words of the Lord are pure words," Psalm 12:6.
In a given day we have any number of conversations with those we come in contact with. Without exception they are all to be sanctified in Christ. There should be no aspects of our conversations with others where we are able to cut loose or let our guard down. The words of Christ are instructive to keep in mind, "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment," Matthew 12:36. Even our ordinary talk should be seasoned with those things that praise God and recall his marvelous works.
One way we can grow in this is to bring into our conversations the wondrous works of God that are spoken of in Scripture. What a skill it would be to learn to weave these instructive and encouraging works of God into our speech. We really could call such talk: beautiful talk. For example, when we see a young child doing something of note, how blessed would it be to turn our thoughts to Josiah, the boy king, who reigned righteously for 31 years in 2 Kings. What a guide and foundation for our conversations would this be if we were able to pepper our talk with references to God's precious word?
However, we can also seek to relate the mercies of God that we ourselves have experienced to others. In doing so, we give the honor and praise to the Lord for His care and provision in and through our lives. This is a subject that we could never exhaust. The Lord has been long-suffering with us when we look at our past, and has been gracious to us beyond measure. The Lord's guidance, deliverances, sustaining us over the years surely provides for us ample opportunities for beautiful talk.
Such a mindset would go far in freeing us from silly talk. Our habits, in conversation, are certainly an area that we can all grow in. Striving in this area will not be without frustration and struggle, but the rewards of keeping the Lord ever before us even in our everyday activities and speech far outweigh the efforts needed to advance in the goal of obtaining beautiful talk.
Soli Deo Gloria,