Verse: Ephesians 5:4
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Ok, seriously, what kind of doltish, stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder would start a devotion passage where the sentence starts with “Nor?” It’s obviously directly linked to the sentence before it! You’d have to be a complete and utter  moron to think that it’s remotely okay to set up devotions like this. It’s basically the inbred Beverly Hillbilly approach to organizing this. Christian, if you’re proofreading this – which after listening to like 200 of your teachings, I don’t think you do that much, I hope you realize that you’re just embarrassing yourself.

Okay, Paul might be right – that does seem a little out of place. See what I did there? I was raised in the church and I have a little voice in my head that prevents me from fully spicing that attempt at obscene, foolish, and coarse discourse. If I managed to make you uncomfortable, please comment below.

Don’t get me wrong, when my knee gives out on me without warning, I use the “F” word (1). It’s not intentional, it’s literally a pain response. I’ll go further – I was in a recent discussion about this topic with an anonymous individual (Who also writes morning devotions) and he summed it up better than I think I can. He said, “I’d rather one of my kids say s#!t than call another kid a turd.” Words derive their power from the intent behind them. When we use words to bring people down, be it through insult or laborious complaint, it’s wrong.

Also, very important to Paul is the comparative value of what words you are using. Paul’s comparing all of these wastes of words to “thanksgiving.” And while having an “attitude of gratitude” is something you should do outside of my presence, I can comfortably state that when you compare TWSS (3) jokes to expressing positive thanksgiving it’s not much of a comparison. Using words to encourage someone is far more valuable than anything else you’re likely to do with words (4).

Father, nudge me when I can use my words to build up others; nudge me when I’m wasting my words and kick me in the shin when I’m using them to hurt people without thinking. With words you spoke creation into being, help me to remember their value. Amen.


  1. Personally, I just have trouble spending the time worrying about curse words, particularly ones that are newer than the 100 AD. I can’t particularly stomach many of the arguments used to blanket outlaw them in the church.
  2. Views expressed by individual morning devotions writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citylight Vineyard Church, its pastor, pastoral committee, or setup crew.
  3. That’s what she said
  4. Intent is the key, though. Making fun of or harassing a person who uses bad words or doesn’t talk the way you expect them to, is actually doing the same thing you’re mocking them for.

Author: Chris Simmons