Jan. 17, 2022
17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20But ye have not so learned Christ;
21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27Neither give place to the devil.
28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
While St. Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus, on how to behave with one another, it seems to me to be a good guide for behavior anywhere. There is so much disunity in this country; so much harsh rhetoric between political Parties, that it’s difficult not to fall into the behavior of speaking badly against those in office for whom we may have little regard.
We can say what we will about those in government without resorting to the kind of language one used to associate with the gutter. We can express our ideas and insights without resorting to name-calling. We can take a stand against (or for) policies and presenters as long as we remember that they are God’s children, too. Aside from perfect Jesus, none of the children of God are without sin – we are all fallen and broken people and so … let him who is without sin cast the first stone. We should all be laying down our stones. But we never have to give up our beliefs – indeed, we should stand up for them – we simply need to modify the manner in which we state those beliefs and how we refer to the folks that don’t hold those same beliefs.
It’s that tongue of ours that needs watching. It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles the man but what comes out. Good to know.