READING: Exodus 19-21, Psalm 33, Ephesians 5
How we talk matters. We who are pastors and church leaders must surely know this truth, for our very ministries are built upon the integrity and godliness of our words. Still, though, we too need to hear Paul’s words to the Ephesians: “But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks” (Eph 5:3-4). Genuine believers simply don’t live the way the world lives; we give no reason for others to accuse us, and we surely avoid filthy talk and ungodly joking. We who know better must live better in the power of the Spirit.
Meeting this standard, though, is not easy. Indeed, it’s sometimes easier to slip into unrighteous speech than it is to fight against it in a world that almost magnifies such talk. Even a few minutes of watching television or the movies will remind us that we are swimming upstream if our commitment is to be different. Even church leaders, I fear, give themselves permission to talk among themselves in ways they would never talk if church members were in the room. Such speech is not indicative of godliness and saintly living.
My prayer today is that God’s love would so grab my soul and His Spirit so control my heart that my tongue says nothing displeasing to Him. Only in His power can I ever reach that goal!
PRAYER: “Father, please keep my speech pure today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Exodus 22-24, Psalm 109, Ephesians 6