Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.Ephesians 5:4
Double Entendre: a word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent.
Upright living includes the words we speak, right? He speaks of three areas of concern including the idea of making use of a play on words. But what’s wrong with a little crude joking, you might ask? No doubt, you’ve heard one before or maybe you’ve used one in conversation.
When I think of the topic, I am reminded of a friend who used an innocent word in a presentation to a group of fifty students, but his phrasing was interpreted by some adults in the room to be a sexual reference. Instead of moving on and avoiding the word, he continued to use the word again and again. He generated some laughter. People congratulated him on his quick wit, but his words had a negative impact as well. He sent a message to the students as well as his peers.
Paul’s concern here relates directly to how our words affect the people around us. Our use of words influences those in our circle of friends as well as those we want to influence. James made a similar argument in his book saying that “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3: 10).
No one has to tell you (or me) if my words are questionable at times, so let us be careful and measure the impact of our words before we speak.