Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Don’t use foul or abusive language... Abusive language doesn’t ever help make a point; it only makes the hearer defensive and mad. What is trying to be conveyed won’t be received because of the intimidating words being used. And foul language is usually mixed in with abusive talk for effect, but the only effect it has is only to further alienate the listener from the speaker. So if the speaker is trying to make an appeal, even if it’s a good one, it will only come across as angry when all that is used is some fightin’ words.
Spongebob Squarepants mistook foul language for “sentences enhancers.” It’s funny because ever since Eddie Murphy and lots of other comedians and entertainers started raising the profanity bar by using curse words as adjectives, and adverbs, and all sorts of parts of speech they weren’t previously used for, these “sentence enhancers” have now become part of society’s daily lexicon. Foul language is present all the time now in pubic, on tv at any hour now, movies, books, and pretty much everywhere; there is little escape from it. Swear words are not only reserved for abusive speech anymore. They are everywhere now, even in my own mouth.
But the book of Ephesians gives great and important reminders that foul language isn’t for me. Not only will it never help me “enhance” a point, it’s simply unbecoming for a Follower of Jesus. This Ephesians passage is at the tail end of chapter 4, and Paul is going to elaborate on this idea even more in the next chapter with the following:
*Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.
*Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
*Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.
*Don’t participate in the things these people do.
*Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.
*It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
*The Light makes everything visible, so don’t waste your life.
(Ephesians 5:1-14 paraphrased)
Paraphrased scripture is a much better addition to my speech than those all too common “sentence enhancers” that fail to enhance anything at all!
Help me to watch what I say. Immorality and swear words are everywhere these days. I can hear it even in my own house when my neighbors are yelling at each other in their backyard. There is literally no escape. I’m so thankful that you can protect my heart and mind as well as help me be vigilant about not joining in with the culture of the day where “sentence enhancer” are just so common now. I do want to live a life filled with love, simply speaking truth, and not talking about shameful things or wasting words. I love you and thank you for your ways, and I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.