This morning I was reading through Colossians and I came across this little idea from Paul, "Do not let any obscene talk come from your mouth." (3:8) I've read that verse before and every time I read it I am convicted about the language that comes out of my mouth. Not that I have what anyone would consider a 'dirty mouth.' I don't swear and I stay away from real crude humor and jokes, but the bar Paul sets is higher than that. He's telling his readers to keep their speech pure. Not 'almost pure' or 'pretty good.'
One of the pressures a Christian faces is abstaining from the defilement of the world without coming across as a total prude. It is especially tough when your buddies are telling a joke or reliving an experience with some graphic details. If you're like me your instant reaction is to laugh at jokes that you probably shouldn't be laughing at. At the time it doesn't seem like a big deal, but over time you can easily become desensitized to the filth you're watching, laughing at, listening to, or even spreading to others.
I get a hard time on occasion for not watching certain movies or television shows. I am by no means perfect, but I try to avoid things whose primary purpose is to entertainment with obscene humor or behavior. I do this because I want to follow the Bible, and also because I know that in my flesh I will more than likely laugh and be entertained by things that I don't really want to be. Plus I know that is the stuff I will remember and be tempted to spread to others. I know this because I can still quote word for word song lyrics and movie quotes from a time when I was far from God.
Paul is encouraging Christians to avoid obscene talk because it makes the Christian look like the rest of the world instead of making them a light on hill. There is nothing attractive about the man who preaches Jesus on Sunday and swears with the rest of the sailors Monday-Saturday.
Only may my words during the week be a continuation of my words in prayer.