Exodus 20:7a – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (NKJV)
Many years ago, I worked for a pipeline construction company. We built oil and gas pipelines in many provinces in Canada as well as in several states in the USA. We lived in a house trailer or mobile home, and the office that I worked in was also a trailer. A number of our employees, superintendents, foremen, and office managers were on the payroll year-round. As we moved from place to place and as new projects were started, a great number of the workers would follow us around, but we would also hire a number of local people. When we started a new project, the employees would come into the office to sign up. Quite often, we would have as many as four hundred people on the payroll. One time, I heard one fellow say to a new employee, "When you go into the office, mind your language, because the office manager does not like it when you swear."
To be sure, most of the people we hired were good, hard-working people, but sometimes the language of some of them was rather colourful. It appears that word got around that I didn't like it when they used foul language, and when they came into my office, they didn't.
It appears from Paul's letters to the new Christians in Ephesus and Colossae that there were many things that needed to be brought to their attention. They were to pray for spiritual wisdom. They were told that Christ was the cornerstone of their faith. They were to walk in unity and in love. He also gave them some good personal advice as to how they should behave:
Colossians 3:8 – But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (NKJV)
I have to be honest with you: I did not try to convert anyone; I did not personally evangelize on a one-to-one basis. But it was well known through my words and actions that in my office, I did not tolerate filthy language or anyone using the name of the Lord in vain.
If we are in situations where those around us use filthy language, let's pray for God's guidance as to how we can be a witness for purity of speech.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we are confronted with circumstances that are not right or proper. We ask that You will give us the grace and the wisdom to choose the right words to kindly admonish those by whom we are offended. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Blest Are The Pure In Heart" (Lyrics)