Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Edifier du jour-Ephesians 5:1-4 (NASB)
1: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2: and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3: But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4: and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
This is one passage that those of us who don't fall pray to the "big sins" need to be very aware of. I remember struggling being around some of my more secular friends back in Midland, for they would often drag me down to their level. That level might have "only" been PG-13 rather than R, but it would have enough filthiness and course jesting to make things unedifying. Steering clear of such worldliness seems to be called for. However, there's more here. Check out the greed section. Are we falling prey to the American Dream or merely allowing God to bless us? I spend a good part of lunch today talking with a colleague whose spouse left them in part because the colleague left a better-paying job to be a college professor. Greed helped break up that marriage and many more. It can also drive us into less-fulfilling jobs that pay more and drive us away from the priceless non-economic things God has for us. What about silly talk? This site mentioned that silliness tends to promote disrespect, which is counterproductive to a functioning society. The NIV goes with "foolish talk", which would point towards general ungodliness, even if it isn't filthy or coarse. When our kids get a steady diet of disrespectful protagonists in the media, we might want to bring a more sober approach. When our speech isn't much different from the secular people around us, they might not see how our lives are different, and that affects our ability to witness. If we're just as raunchy as they are, how is this Jesus affecting things? Thus, we need to look at what we say and how we say it, even if it isn't involving swear words.

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