Guarding Our Hearts, Our Words, and Our Actions - Ephesians 5:3-14

Guarding Our Hearts, Our Words, and Our Actions

I often find myself engaging in conversation and joking around with those around me, but there are times when the jokes or words said aren’t the most uplifting. Usually, the Holy Spirit convicts me and I feel remorseful because I know that I was wrong and need to be more uplifting, even if I am joking around. 

God calls us to guard our tongues and live above reproach because there are consequences of our sins. We are to live as saints of God and desire to be imitators of Christ.
Ephesians 5:3-14
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Paul just told us to be imitators of God and walk accordingly in Christ’s love. But now he is laying down the groundwork and practical application for holy living. We are called not only to be free from sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness, but we are to be so removed and set apart from those things that our name isn’t even in the conversation about those things. As saints in Christ, we are called to not be part of the sinful culture that today’s world says is acceptable. Sexual relations is to be reserved for marriage. Additionally, we are to not be covetous or jealous of what others possess. We are to live above reproach so that we are not even associated with these things.

In the words we use, we are to be uplifting and express thanksgiving. Words have meaning and can be interpreted or perceived in the wrong way. So, why would we say jokes that may be offensive and not uplifting? Paul calls us to use words that will glorify God and be encouraging to others. Think before you speak. Set yourselves apart from those around you and don’t engage in immoral talk. Let others around you see that you are obedient to God and be the witness of Christ to them.
Paul says that we used to be living in the darkness, and we are to no longer be partners with sinners. He isn’t telling us to not be friends or acquaintances with those around us. Paul means that we should not engage in the same activities since we now have the understanding in Christ, the understanding of sin. Because now, we are children of light, walking in a world of corruption. As children of light, we are the reflection of His glory and can portray the truth of the Gospel to those around us by our actions and our words. When we are being led by the Holy Spirit, we produce fruit that is nourishing and uplifting to those around us. The Holy Spirit gives us the discernment needed to refrain from sin and sinful acts. Because when we walk in the light of Christ and imitate His light, darkness and sin have no place to hide. Christ’s light reveals our sins and those sins around us. When visible, we have the ability to address it and ensure we don’t continue or do that again.

Lastly, Paul says a quote, which may be directed at us. As Christians, we know we are saved by God’s grace and are justified by faith. We have that assurance, but what if we get sleepy? What if our walk with God isn’t the most awake and alive walk that God wants for us? What if we are sleep walking as Christians? How can we truly demonstrate the love of Christ if we are asleep and not actively seeking God?
I encourage all of us to examine our walk and ensure we are living above reproach. Guard your tongue and don’t engage in acts or conversations that are not uplifting and edifying to Christ. Wake up your walk with Christ! Engage with Him daily and often in reading and prayer. Live in love and be led by the Holy Spirit according to God’s will in your life.
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