You Are What You… Speak
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of Godis coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and *filthy language from your lips.* Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
I remember a day when I was visiting a group home where I walked in at the same time that a case worker was trying to resolve an issue with a young man who was walking around the house swearing while talking to everyone.
“What’s the matter with my language?” he said. “We’re all adults here, I’m eighteen years old”
I wondered to myself why this young man equated swearing with adulthood. So I decided to ask some questions and get to know Him a little better.
It turns out that his parents swore regularly in their home where he was grew up. Whenever he swore though, he would often get into big trouble. So to avoid looking like hypocrites by telling him that ‘swearing is wrong’, his parents simply told him “swearing is grown up language.” So now he just naturally equates the expression of his every feeling using these words – with being an adult.
And this poor example is in no way limited to young adults. Just recently I had a co-worker of mine ask me as casual as ever “hey, are you going to attend the ‘effin’ group” with a very sincere and polite smile on his face.
Apparently the lie that ‘swearing is grown up language’ has spread further than we readily want to admit. Actors, athletes, celebrities, & musicians all across tv programming and movies certainly haven’t helped the issue.
But this issue is not a new one at all. When I look back at the letters to the early church, I notice that the Apostle Paul recognized these issues in his day also. But when I consider the Apostles reasoning as to ‘why’ we should no longer mirror this example of the world, I notice a few profound things that he uses as his premise for this exhortation.
One of which is found in the last line:
“put on the new self, which is being *renewed* in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
The other is that “you used to walk in these ways”
In essence he is saying this:
“people live godless lives and that’s the proof that they don’t know the likeness of the One in whose image they have been created. But since we really do have access through Christ to know Him, and now we really have come to know Him, then as we grow in that knowledge of Him and are becoming more like Him, we should be more inclined to put off the things that do not properly represent Him in our lives, by the power of the ‘Holy’ Spirit.
That means, if our friends choose to continue to misrepresent God to this world – we do not.
If our parents choose to continue to misrepresent God to this world – we do not.
If our co-workers choose to continue misrepresent God to this world – we do not.
He’s calling us to stand out among a crooked and perverse generation who clearly does not know God, which is also the very life from which we’ve all been redeemed, so that the light of our lives may now shine forth as a testimony of one who absolutely DOES know God!
For through Christ, we truly did come to know Him.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” *The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.* Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
So everyday we can show the world whose we are, both by our testimony in what we say, and by our words in what we ‘do not’ say.
I implore you,
Trust ♔ Jesus!