Ephesians 5:4-5 - 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Recently my wife and I saw the latest release of Murder on the Orient Express. The protagonist, the world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot, explained why he’s “The world’s greatest detective.” He says that he sees the world “as it should be” and when something is “out of place,” it is glaring.
It seems that Paul has this in mind in the above passage. A follower of Jesus should speak words of thanksgiving, not filthy, foolish, or crude words. And it’s not just talking about what we’d call “curse words,” but speaking carelessly, with no regard to who we are in Christ and how we might be perceived as Christ followers. After all, the world is watching…and listening.
Not only should our words be honoring to the Lord but our actions also. I have had the honor of officiating a couple dozen weddings, and I really enjoy it. I have married both believers and unbelievers…but not to each other (2 Cor. 6:14). Here’s the difficult thing: how do I decide who is a believer and who is not? I hear their words and observe their deeds. In verse 5 Paul assures us that our deeds bear our true faith. Those things, our words and our deeds, are a good barometer of whether or not we’re followers of Jesus.
So if Detective Poirot examined your words and your deeds, would he see something “out of place”?
• What area of your life might seem “out of place” to others?
• Which of these areas might Jesus want to change this week?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for his work in our lives - both our words and our deeds (in Jesus).