Friday, September 11, 2009

Christian Conversation

The Lord responded to Moses’ complaint by asking a rhetorical question, “Who gave man his mouth?” If God gave man a mouth to speak, a language to use, a brain to think, then it stands to reason that God will hold accountable every man to the use of his words.

However, think how often a stray thought rushes from the mouth like a geyser, or an un-checked word escapes like a bat out of a cave? Believers in Christ are commissioned by God to use the tongue for His glory, to speak words for a more noble purpose, to take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. Is this how you approach your conversations with the world around you?

Consider what God’s word says. Psalm 37:30, “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.” Proverbs 8:7, “My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.” These two passages of Scripture give a clear picture of what the mouth of a believer ought to voice—only that which is wise and true. Is this your utterance? Is this your conversation?

I remember, some time ago, when I walked with a group of Christians as we left a meeting. We navigated through the parking lot and made our way to the car, all the while speaking and laughing and carrying on with the wonderful fellowship we just experienced. However, one in our party thought to share a story—a witticism that carried a hint of vulgarity. As this person espoused the humor, the remaining members walked in stunned silence at the lack of Christian character displayed in the joke. When confronted, the person quickly defended the tale, saying it was, “just a joke.” Has true faith become so watered-down by the world that believers can casually share at a joke that is vulgar and crude without a shred of conscience? Was Jeremiah right when he said that the people of God had forgotten even how to blush (Jeremiah 8:12)? It was more than just a joke; it was a telling sign of what ruminated in that person’s heart. Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Paul entreats the church, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6). Again the Bible states, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). And again in Ephesians, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (5:4).

All believers have a responsibility to God, to fellow believers and to the world at large to speak those words that will exalt Christ, edify the church and entreat the lost world to Jesus. Is this your conversation? It should be.

©2009 Rev. Michael Duncan


  1. Hi Michael!

    Funny that you post this on the same day one of my facebook friends complained of posts by some of his Christian friends in which they used crude language. We do live in an evil culture, but that's no excuse. We have an injunction to overcome evil with good.


    PS: If you go to, you can get a meter to include on your blog so you can count the number of visits you get. Not everyone comments, and it's nice to know you're not just talking to yourself. ;o)

  2. I'm glad James addresses this issue. In James 3:2 he says, "For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well." As we commit our ways to Him, He weeds out coarse jesting, bad language, etc., but it is a process, so we must be patient with other believers.