Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
- Ephesians 5.4
There are three or four faults common to otherwise virtuous persons, such as being given to drawing others into endless chatter, and also addiction to delicacies.
- The Rule of Ciarán, Irish, 7th or 8th century
The Seinfeld Show, we recall, was referred to as a “show about nothing.” It had no real plot, but simply careened through one situation to the next, going nowhere and offering nothing but comic relief.
Have you ever wondered why this show was so incredibly popular? Could it be that this “show about nothing” reached a dumbed-down generation at precisely at the point it likes to be scratched? Nothing significant, only the most trivial and flippant of matters, everything easily dismissed and forgotten after a few laughs.
Neil Postman wrote about our generation that we are so “amused to death” by television that we can’t carry on an intelligent conversation for more than a few moments. But should this be true of those who have been redeemed and commissioned by the Word of Life? Do we not have more significant, meaningful, urgent, and beautiful words to convey than the drivel and trivia that so often fills our casual conversation?
How can we expect people to take us seriously when we want to talk about eternal things if a large portion of the rest of our speech is nothing more than words about nothing? The Scripture has much to say about how we should use our tongues, and it specifically warns against wasting our words on endless, mindless chatter.
We have the Word of Life living in us. Let us devote our speech to representing, celebrating, explicating, and exemplifying Him!
Think ahead to the opportunities you’ll have for conversation today, and begin thanking the Lord for each one as you prepare to minister His grace and truth by your words.
Psalm 117 (Lauda Anima: “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven”)
Praise the Lord! All nations, praise Him!
Magnify Him, peoples all!
He is great, His steadfast love
Keeps all who on His mercy call!
Evermore His faithfulness will bless
His people, great and small!
Lord, I have only one tongue: Teach me to use it faultlessly to relate Your wonders. Adapted from Saltair na Rann
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T. M. Moore, Principal