Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2: 15 – 16
“Avoid godless chatter” . . . Isn’t that the most interesting phrase? Let your mind wonder on what it might mean. The ESV (English Standard Bible) interprets the Greek to mean “irreverent babble”, and the NKJ (New King James) version writes it this way, “shun profane and idle babblings”.
We could interpret it to mean “gossip, inappropriate language or jokes, hurtful or mean comments about others, lies, abusive words, false knowledge passed on as truths such as from Scripture, and anything that tears down instead of building up”.
How are you feeling about your conversations with others about now? It is a very humbling thought, isn’t it? And it can certainly fill us with shame. Think about the postings we see on social media sites – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Apps, even the news sites. Do you think God would be pleased with what we are reading, writing, and passing on to others?
“Those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” I recently read this statement, “Animosity towards another person and intimacy with God can’t coexist in the same heart.” Doesn’t that put it all into perspective!
We don’t mean to act ungodly, we truly want to have good hearts and good motives, but it seems as if it has become the norm in today’s world, doesn’t it?
Have you ever finished a conversation with someone and thought, “Now why did I say those things? That was mean!” If we are going to be chatting with someone, the conversation is probably going to turn to someone else as we pass comments back and forth. And then we often speak unkindly of that person, and even if it isn’t true, it may be retold, and the damage is done. We may have unknowingly passed on false knowledge which could truly hurt another.
We may be the one to start “the gossip game” by tossing out a name and making a comment, or we may be the one “to pick up the baton and run with it” and make a worse remark. But God’s desire would be that we would be the one who ends it and who extends grace instead of having a critical spirit. We really do have a choice whether or not to indulge in such “godless chatter”. If we are around inappropriate language, jokes, stories, or abusive words, we can turn the conversation in another direction, or we can walk away.
How often we fail to think about what we say and what impact it has on others. May we pray that we let our minds dwell on things that are good, pleasant, and godly, and our spoken words reflect such feelings. Holding our tongues can be a challenge – easier for some and much more difficult for others. But may we be mindful that “the idle babblings” we speak – in whatever form – not only hurt others, but they eventually hurt us.
Our most holy and gracious God, help us to recognize and avoid participating in “godless chatter” and saying unkind remarks about others. Help us to focus on words that build up those around us instead of tearing them down. Help us to always be the best we can be so others can see you in us. Amen