1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
I spent days studying this passage because I saw how important it is for me as a Christian to know how I should actually behave, not to put to shame the very name of Christ in my lifestyle.
DEFINITION BY GOOGLE:
What is wrong with humor? Or with joking? How does it affect my testimony as a Christian? After days of searching, I came across this online commentary: Bible Hub Commentary
ELLICOT’S COMMENTARY FOR ENGLISH READERS:
There is then “jesting,” i.e., properly, the more polished “versatility,” which will find occasion for wit or levity in anything, however sacred, fearing nothing so much as to be dull, and mistaking all seriousness and reserve for dulness.
MATTHEW HENRY CONCISE COMMENTARY:
5:3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God’s glory.
A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God’s holy law.
BARNES’ NOTES ON THE BIBLE:
Foolish Talking – idle chitchat, senseless, foolish, which is not suited to instruct, edify, profit.
Christians should aim to have their conversation sensible, serious, sincere – remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment;” Matthew 12:36.
Jesting – humor, wit, levity.
Such are many of the poems of Cowper, and many of the essays of Addison in the “Spectator” – a benevolent humor which disposes us to smile, but not to be malignant; to be good-natured, but not to inspire levity. But levity and jesting, though often manifested by ministers and other Christians, are as inconsistent with true dignity as with the gospel. Where were they seen in the conversation of the Redeemer? Where in the writings of Paul?
Christians should be grave and serious – though cheerful and pleasant. They should feel that they have great interests at stake, and that the world has too. They are redeemed – not to make sport; purchased with precious blood – for other purposes than to make people laugh. They are soon to be in heaven – and a man who has any impressive sense of that will habitually feel that he has much else to do than to make people laugh. The true course of life is midway between moroseness and levity; sourness and lightness; harshness and jesting. Be benevolent, kind, cheerful, bland, courteous, but serious. Be solemn, thoughtful, deeply impressed with the presence of God and with eternal things, but pleasant, affable, and benignant. Think not a smile sinful; but think not levity and jesting harmless.
I don’t think I can add anything more to that. My eyes have been opened once more to another truth about God and my relationship with Him.
Let’s take Christianity seriously.