“Don’t swear or spurt nonsense. Don’t make harsh jokes or clown around. Make proper use of your words, and offer them thankfully in praise.” Ephesians 5:4 (VOICE)
“Mom, I hate clowns.” my daughter said.
“Yep, I feel the same way …but a harlequin is not a clown,” I explained, as she prepared to dance her first solo in that character.
“A harlequin is a classic comic pantomime character.” vocabulary.com
My deep thinker latched onto her character in no time, as we did a little homework and talked about how it relates to life on her level.
Today’s verse illuminates the wisdom between harlequin and clown. The difference between a meaningful expression of words and obnoxiously vented banter is huge.
“Don’t swear or spurt nonsense…” Swearing isn’t the end-all-be-all of bad behavior, nor is it the crown of good behavior for those who refrain. But let’s be honest. There’s nothing eloquent about it, and it’s reactional. The fact that it’s specifically addressed in the Bible leads me to believe it was a specific problem at the date of authorship, too.
“Don’t make harsh jokes or clown around,” isn’t instructing us to be boring drones who never crack up about how funny life really is. It’s the crude humor, and the type that’s spoken at the expense of others or in self-promotion, that God is directly addressing. Whether saying it on social media or to another person’s face, we are called to chose our words wisely.
The Bible is our main communication with God. Words. Living Words. Words applicable to current situations and past debacles, future conundrums, and ongoing complications. It’s life. The Living Word.
Perfection isn’t the goal, but good sense is. And for those entrusted with little lives, be careful not to reep more than they can sow. The formative memories of children don’t “need” explicative exposure more than kindness and compassion. Discipline doesn’t have to be destructive to be firm and effective.
Love is written all over the pages of the Bible, but God is very clear in how He expects us to uphold ourselves. Jesus didn’t need explicative to get His point across. The cross is the biggest exclamation point in history.
Father, Praise You for humor. It’s one of my favorite things about You, and I love to laugh with You. Thank You for making life lighthearted, from the pages of Genesis to the Parables of Jesus, Your funny bone sticks out. Forgive us for taking humor into our own hands, and handing it over to serve dark purposes. Bless us to enjoy a laugh as a laugh, and not at another’s expense. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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