When we talk to people, depending on who we are talking to, is it fine to talk different ways to different people? Are there different situations that we can say different things in front of different people? I think it depends.
WHEN WE CAN SAY DIFFERENT THINGS
When can we say different things depending on who we are around? When we are around kids there are certain things that we would not say to or around them. There are things that are allowed and appropriate to say to your wife in a romantic way that are appropriate to say to your wife. Those same things would not be alright to say in front of your kids.
There are also things that you might discuss with other adults that you would not discuss with your children. If you and your buddies were discussing someone in the neighborhood who has done evil things to children, you would not want your small children to hear such a discussion. You can protect them from those things. If you or another responsible adult are always with them, you can protect their innocence.
WHEN WE CAN’T SAY DIFFERENT THINGS
At the same time, are there times when it is not appropriate to have a different conversation depending on being around different people or ages? Yes. Sometimes I hear from guys, “I talk a lot differently at work compared to home.” I’m sure women may say the same thing, but this is who I hear this from. Especially guys when it comes to what they sometimes call locker room talk.
It is wrong to talk differently around your children than at work when what is being said is sinful. If there is something that is derogatory, it is derogatory whether or not you are speaking to children or other guys. Or if there is something being said that is sexually inappropriate in a sinful way, it is sinful no matter the crowd.
The Bible and specifically the Book of James addresses this issue. James speaks a lot about how we use our tongues and what we say. In James 3, James warns about having a forked tongue – of lifting people up and tearing people down with the same tongue.
How does James compare someone with a double life in their language? He asks if there can be a spring that has both freshwater and saltwater. Of course the answer is no. That’s what he is saying about the tongue. You can’t have a double tongue. (If it has salt, if it is a tongue that tears down, that’s what it is.)
WHERE ARE YOU AT
Where are you at? Do you speak “like a sailor” at work, and “a saint” at home? Do you find yourself slipping at home saying things in front of your kids that you are embarrassed to say? The best way to cure that is to try to have the same tongue everywhere. Let me leave you with a final verse. Colossians 3:17, “and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.