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Christian, Watch Your Mouth

(The following is the August 30 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Ephesians 5 and pay close attention to verses 1-5.)

Paul encouraged the Ephesians to “be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us” (vv. 1-2). He warned them about the dangers of sexual immorality, impurity, greed, and idolatry (vv. 3, 5). Verse 4 addresses a related concern: “Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable.”

It's challenging to avoid exposure to obscene, foolish, and crude talk in today’s world. If we browse the Internet, walk by magazine racks at a store, look at billboards while driving, etc., we will most likely see inappropriate materials. The language in television shows, movies, streaming media, and music can be extremely foul. We may live and work with people who frequently misuse God’s name verbally, when texting, on social media, and in other contexts.

Christians are to be light in the darkness and salt to a society that has lost its holy flavor. We can’t sound and act like the world while remaining separate from it and holy as God demands. We can’t do as the world does to gain its approval at the expense of pleasing God. If we take his Word seriously regarding obscene, foolish talk and crude joking, we must decide that obedience to God is non-negotiable. We should avoid situations where such behavior is expected and rewarded. We can’t encourage others who use such language. Instead, we should privately call out the behavior, especially if done by professing Christians, walking away if needed from such situations.

God’s Word says, “be imitators of God” (v. 1) and “be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). We can’t do that with a foul mouth.

Next Step:

When did you last use inappropriate language? Pray that the next time you are tempted to do so, God will lead you to give thanks to him instead, as Paul encourages in Ephesians 5:4.

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