11 September 2019

Colossians 3:1–11

Paul’s list of idolatrous tendencies to be put to seems pretty straight. Sexual immorality is (basically) sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Impurity continues the sexual theme, but it is less specific. Lust is lust. Evil desire is not the actual sexual immoral act, but its very thought. If fact almost all of these are sex. Except for greed. It seems strange to throw greed (or covetousness) into this, but we can recognize that all of these are selfish things that hurt, oppress, or steal from others.

It’s the next s that become inteing. Anger is more of the always angry person (i.e., temperament), rather than being angry (though do not sin in your anger, Ephesians 4:26–27). Wrath is more akin to jealous anger so as to diminish others. Malice is seeking to do harm (physically or verbally). Slander is speaking badly of others so as to diminish their reputation. Do not lie to one another. All of these seem pretty simple. It’s the one that was skipped that is very tricky as the culture s around us.

Filthy language. From a church , and even a few cultural decades, filthy language seemed pretty clear cut. However, as the culture s, so too does our awareness of “filthy”. Obscene is still pretty straight. However, aischrologia (the Greek used here) also means culturally inappropriate. And, this dear framily should cause us to pause. Regardless of how one feels about much of the discourse in general society, there are certain s that are not so culturally appropriate and even more when considering the context. In fact, there are many s and phrases that are no longer appropriate. The list is rather long, and it regularly s. Instead of being offended by our s being taken as offensive, the better tactic is to work and not speaking in a way that offends.

Now, this does not mean silence the Christian . This does mean that your choice of s “tells” another person how much you value them. If you willingly speak s or phrases that are no longer culturally acceptable, then others will cease to value your s. This often becomes a cultural battle of they shouldn’t be “snowflakes” or “super-senive”. Yet, we are to answer for our . While many may agree or with your of others, it’s of them that should matter most.

1) Can you think of a time recently where you thought of others less because they were hurt by a common or phrase? What do Paul’s s tell you about that?

2) There appears to be an increase of verbal senivity, on the one hand, yet an increase in uncivil discourse. How do you think Paul’s s and should inform your response to both?

3) Regarding obscene/filthy language, much of the culture no longer finds it so. How do you think Paul’s s apply in that case?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.