Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
I am not careful enough of my mouth. This word filthiness refers to something that is shameful. The old Webster’s says foulness; dirtiness; filth; nastiness, corruption; pollution; defilement by sin; impurity. I know that I have many times told jokes that were not appropriate. I know that I have said things that are crude.
If they were not filthy they might have had double meanings and I knew that.
I have also wasted time telling and getting involved in foolish things. Things that just wasted time and had no real value.
I have picked at, joked with, and jested also.
These things have no value. They are not convenient. They don’t accomplish anything worthwhile. They are often uncalled for and out of place. I get caught up in what goes on around me and do not watch my mouth.
I am not making excuses. I want to please God with my words. I want to use my tongue to accomplish something of value.
I want to be giving thanks. Even jokes that demean myself are the opposite of giving thanks.
I find it interesting that He didn’t give us many choices. It was something that was not convenient or it was giving thanks. No mention of complaining. No mention of joking around. No mention of criticism, just giving of thanks.
John Wesley put it this way:
Nor foolish talking – Tittle tattle, talking of nothing, the weather, fashions, meat and drink. Or jesting – The word properly means, wittiness, facetiousness, esteemed by the heathens an half – virtue. But how frequently even this quenches the Spirit, those who are tender of conscience know. Which are not convenient – For a Christian; as neither increasing his faith nor holiness.
Thanks to God, or praises are more becoming Christians than jesting. The idea here seems to be, that such employment would be far more appropriate to the character of Christians, than idle, trifling, and indelicate conversation. Instead, therefore, of meeting together for low wit and jesting; for singing songs, and for the common discourse which often attends such â€œgatheringsâ€ of friends, Paul would have them come together for the purpose of praising God, and engaging in his service. Human beings are social in their nature; and if they do not assemble for good purposes, they will for bad ones. It is much more appropriate to the character of Christians to come together to sing praises to God, than to sing songs; to pray than to jest; to converse of the things of redemption than to tell anecdotes, and to devote the time to a contemplation of the world to come, than to trifles and nonsense.
I want to be more careful with my mouth. I want to watch what I say and the attitudes that come from my mouth. God has been good to me and I want to express that!