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Straight Talk

posted Jan 11, 2016, 5:07 PM by Nathan Wheeler   [ updated Apr 11, 2018, 4:10 PM by Nathanael Wheeler ]
What’s your water cooler chat like? Do you get wrapped up in the stuff that’s going on in everyone else’s lives? Do you laugh at vulgar jokes or even tell a few yourself? I know that I’ve been guilty of all of these things more than a few times in my Christian life, and it’s an area that I have to constantly and actively watch. Today’s devotion begins in 2 Timothy 2 where we find Paul talking to Timothy about living a Christlike life. 

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” - 2 Timothy 2:4

We see that it pleases the one who enlisted us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when we choose not to get tangled up in what’s going on around us (gossip, vain talk, heresies, etc.). So, what should we do then? I’m not one of those overzealous people who thinks that anything not specifically about God should be avoided. But where should we draw the line, and what should we or shouldn’t we be a party to? And what should we do when we see others getting involved in this sort of behavior?

“But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. [...] Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of light [...] trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” - Ephesians 5:3-13

Ephesians 5 here gives us more insight into what our reaction should be. Most of my life, I’ve either idly stood by and thought that as long as I wasn’t an active participant in a conversation, I could stand there with the rest of the guys and laugh at the dirty jokes, and if it got “too bad” I could just walk away. But we see here a lot of action words, like “don’t partake,” “don’t participate,” “expose,” and so on. We’re supposed to be a “workman” (2 Timothy 2:15). You can’t be an idle workman. And you can’t stand by doing nothing and be active in any manner.

“And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell… But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.” - James 3:6,8

The tongue defiles the whole body, and has an effect on the course of our life! I know there are lots of things that I’ve been a part of that other spiritual men stood by and saw me do, and didn’t guide me away from those things. I hold only myself responsible for those things, but wouldn’t it have been better to have been gently reminded that what I was partaking of was immoral? Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had “exposed” what I was saying before I dug myself deeper and deeper into moral debt? And since I’ve become a Christian, there are many things that I had said or done in my life before, that now I’ve had to go back and apologize to someone for wronging them.

So, as we go about our workday, and as we live our lives, let’s keep an active guard for the words that you hear, and the conversations that we’re a part of. Let’s be active in our conversations to speak out against immoral, untrue, and unclean topics. Remember that it’s our God-given responsibility to not only “not participate”, but also to shine the Light as well. Let’s think in every conversation, “Could I stand here in the presence of the Righteous and Holy Judge, and participate in this conversation?," and then let’s act accordingly.