“Loose lips sink ships.” That’s a saying that I learned somewhere in my early elementary school life. I don’t think I fully understood what it meant at the time – all I appreciated was that it told me to keep my mouth shut. But as I’ve lived and matured, I know very well that frivolous talk can be hurtful and even dangerous. Our gift of speech is an important one: through it we communicate with each other and it is the basis of our being able to work and live in society. But using speech in the wrong way can cause a whole host of problems. We’ve all probably been in the midst of that in some way at some time in our lives.
And so Saint Paul’s words to the Ephesians are probably good ones for us to hear today:
Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among holy ones,
no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place
All of us, who are called to be God’s holy ones, have a very important responsibility to use our gift of speech wisely. We must not engage in idle, frivolous, or even obscene speech, because this is out of place for those who follow the Lord. But what I think is so important is what Saint Paul says needs to be on the lips of God’s holy ones – and that is thanksgiving.
Big deal, right, of course we can speak about thanksgiving. But the Greek word that is translated “thanksgiving” here is eucharistia – and we all know what that means. The Eucharist – which is our thanksgiving – is always to be on our lips. So that’s the lens by which we ought always to view the words we say: are our words Eucharist? Are they thanksgiving? Because those are the only words we need to be saying.