The Bible tells us that cursing and thanksgiving are two things that do not go together. Many of us honor that sentiment for the holiday declared as "Thanksgiving." But what about the remaining days of the year?
Ephesians 5:4 reads, "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving."(NIV) Obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking are the opposite of thanksgiving. In what ways?
1. The words just sound different
Have you ever thought about how curse words sound? They sound hard, harsh, guttural, not friendly or warm. Words of thanksgiving sound more inviting and comforting; gratitude, thanks, generosity. Big difference, to the ear and to the soul.
2. The words flow from opposite attitudes
Obscene words, unnecessary "cut-downs," and dirty jokes are all accepted in our culture to a certain degree. But what attitude of the heart produces such talk? Sure, people can be talking this way while they are having a good time. But if you can't keep it clean and wholesome enough for a child to be present, then something must be wrong. Some innocence must be compromised. Thanksgiving flows from the innocence and faith we see in children (Jesus testified to this fact). An "attitude of gratitude" has no reason to joke coarsely or put someone down.
3. Some words offend, others encourage
Obscenities, put-downs, and dirty jokes have the potential to offend people. In fact, if one is not offended, then perhaps one has developed a very hard heart. Words of thanksgiving and praise build people up. They encourage and motivate us to be generous and loving.
As Thanksgiving weekend winds down, let us keep the spirit of the holiday (and the Bible) going by continuing using the language of thanksgiving rather than the language of the world.