A Prayer Against Crude Humor
By Meg Bucher
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4
“A harlequin is not a clown,” I explained, as my daughter prepared to dance her first solo in that character. There is a big difference between a circus clown and muted harlequin. 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.
The difference between a meaningful expression of words and obnoxiously vented banter is huge.
In Ephesians 5:4, Paul warns against filthiness in our speech, foolish talk and crude joking. Profanity, mockery, and ill-intended sarcasm are not the end-all, be-all of bad behavior, nor the crown jewel of good behavior for those who refrain. But let’s be honest. There’s nothing eloquent about a potty mouth. And the fact it’s specifically addressed in the Scripture leads us to believe it was a specific problem at the date of authorship, too.
The Voice paraphrase tells us, “don’t make harsh jokes or clown around.” This isn’t instructing us to be boring drones who never crack up about how funny life is. It’s the crude humor, and the type 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 choose our words wisely.
Perfection isn’t the goal, but good sense is. For parents and those whose influence lies in earshot of children, we should be mindful that our kids need to hear us speaking kindly and compassionately. They will latch on to crude language and adult humor.
Love is written all over the pages of the Bible, and God is very clear in how He expects us to uphold ourselves. Jesus didn’t need to use profanity or a punchline to get His point across. The cross is the biggest exclamation point in history.
Let’s pray now for freedom from crude talk and for wholesome speech that builds up, not tears down:
Father, I praise You for humor. It’s one of my favorite things about You! I love to laugh with You. Forgive us for taking all the best things about humor and making them dark with sin. We ask you to bless us, let us enjoy laughter, but not at another’s expense. Guide our words and motives, and let the way we talk to and around others honor You, always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. She stepped out of her comfort zone, and her Marketing career, to obey God’s call to stay home and be “Mom” in 2011. From that step of obedience her blog, Sunny&80, was born, a way to retain the funny everyday moments of motherhood. Meg is also a freelance writer and author of “Friends with Everyone.” She loves teaching God’s Word and leading weekly Bible study, being a mom, distance running and photography. Meg resides in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and Golden-Doodle… all avid Cleveland Browns fans.
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Originally published Sunday, 01 September 2019.