A note from our pastor:
“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”Ephesians 5:4
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In our study verse this week, the Apostle continues his exhortations regarding behaviors which should be avoided by disciples in the community of the church. This verse, like so many others, is founded on a first century view of the church as a community of believers walking daily together. As such, the Apostle is providing warnings against behaviors which would lead the community away from service to God.
In this verse, the Apostle warns against three manners of conversation – filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting. The particular terms used in this verse are unique to this instruction and likely held more meaning for the Apostle and his immediate audience than we can decipher today. However, disciples in any age can take instruction from this exhortation.
Filthiness — This manner of speech is not inclusive of just crude words and lewd references, but rather of any corrupt communication. It includes conversation filled with flattery, backbiting, boasting, and other communications which are void of benefit to the hearer. In other words, the Apostle was instructing disciples to avoid spending their time together discussing things which focused on themselves and not on God.
Foolish Talking — The communication to be avoided here include items which would be included in idle chitchat. Conversations which are not sincere, sensible, and serious. This is not to say that chitchat is never going to happen, even within the community of the church, but it should not be the primary form of communication. The tradition of having a fellowship meal has been degraded because all too often it is only accompanied with foolish talking. The focus should be on the things of Christ, reflections on our lives, and thanksgiving.
Jesting — A sense of humor and an ability to smile and laugh is not against God. However, a pattern of behavior where even the most grave of things is made into jesting is of serious concern. Disciples should be concerned when they cannot control their desire for jesting at times when they should be focused on the message of Jesus Christ.
Finally, the Apostle tells us these things should instead be replaced with the giving of thanks. Our mindset should be focused on the blessings we have received and thus our manner of speech on giving thanks unto God.
Our Prayers are with you daily,