Of course, this isn't a medical condition. But when we say someone is "full of hot air", aren't we basically saying, "what they said didn't really matter". I've done that. I'm sure you have to. And when we're just shooting the breeze with friends or family, maybe its no big deal. But, sometimes, don't we want our conversations to matter and not just be "full of hot air"?
In 2 Timothy 2:16 it says, "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly." Hmm...godless chatter. How would you define godless chatter? I think it is talking like God doesn't exist. Filling the air with conversations that don't really matter. Does that mean we need to talk as though we're giving a sermon all the time or something? Well, no. I think it just means we should avoid conversations that lead no where, or worse, lead to discouragement, anger and arguing.
It reminds me of a verse we looked at recently in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which simply says, "pray continually". How do you pray continually? It doesn't mean we have our eyes closed in focused prayer 24/7. It means prayer is our first and last response. It means we have an open line with God, and that we invite him into our day. I find some of the most enjoyable times for Chrissy and I as a couple is when we're both busy working around the house doing separate chores, but we're together doing it. There's pauses, and questions, and "stopping for a snack", "can you help me with this", and stopping to chat with the neighbours. We've invited each other into our day. And even when we're apart, there are things we can't wait to tell each other when we get together again. By the way, if you're married, and this sounds weird...I'm not a great marriage counsellor, but I'll do my best. Give me a call. This image of our relationship helps me understand what praying continually means. We've invited God to be part of our day.
It think it's similar when we think about what we "chat" about. I've had conversations that led no where. Sadly, I've initiated conversations that led no where. Sometimes I leave feeling discouraged and frustrated. That's not godly conversation, that's godless chatter. Godly conversation is encouraging, challenging, makes you think, deepens your relationships, puts others first in word and thought. We invite God into our conversation. This kind of conversation can happen with believers and unbelievers alike. And when we invite God to be a part of the conversation, our relationships with God and others will grow. We will grow.
Here's three ways to avoid godless chatter (applicable to all conversations)
1. Listen first. Ask yourself, "Have I really tried to understand what they've said or where they're coming from?"
2. Think before you speak. "Is what I'm about to say true or helpful? Should I say it, even if it is?"
3. Focus on good things. "Are we just complaining?"
I confess. Sometimes I'm full of hot air. I have conversations that are not uplifting and are full of "godless chatter". I'm working at it. How about you? Are you full of hot air? Does what you talk about matter? Ask God to help you have significant conversations as you grow in your faith and relationships.