The Father’s Care: Renewed From The Inside
“Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that.
Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.”
Ephesians 5:4 MSG
“Thanksgiving is our dialect.” So what is a dialect? “A socially distinct variety of a language, that differs from the standard language”. For those of us who follow Jesus, our dialect should be the language Jesus would use. And that language flows out of a grateful heart.
Our speech is to be full of thanksgiving, which would stand out from the standard language, consisting of dirty talk, silly talk and gossip.
You know how those juicy morsels of gossip can just wait on your tongue, at-the-ready, to be blurted out at just the right time to just the right person. (Or so you think…) But since we want to please Jesus, as one of His followers, we have way better uses for language than gossiping. We are to use our tongues to edify, to build one another up…not to cut down and destroy.
Plus, dirty talk is to have no welcome in our dialect. Coarse joking and sarcasm cuts down others. Period. You hide, or you think you’re hiding , the put-downs by the “oh, I was only kidding” or “come on, don’t be so sensitive” remarks. Paul is telling us that that kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. (Which would be Jesus’ style, as we are followers of Him.)
And what is Jesus’ style? He tells us a few verses before in Ephesians, “My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to Christ, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:20-24, 29-32 MSG
Pretty straightforward. The old way of life has got to go, which includes the old “standard language”, and you take on a completely new way of life. A God-fashioned life. That means your new dialect says only what helps…each word a gift.