Several years ago my friend Carrie and I were working on some paint samples in a loft area. One of the plasterers working below would yell up to me, “Hey Chitty-Chat, how’s it going?” I didn’t think I was that much of a talker, but found out that I am! I like people; and I like conversation; it’s fun. But I have to beware, because my chitty-chat can get out of control and roll over into vain babbling too quickly and the more people, the crazier it gets.
It’s time for me to back off a bit and monitor what’s coming out of my mouth. Once when I was in this overly chitty-chat state, I actually put my respirator on at work to block my vain babbling. It’s hard to hear someone when they’re talking behind a respirator, so if I wanted to say something I had to take the respirator off, and that made me think a lot more about what I was going to say.
There are only two places in the Bible where “vain babbling” is used. Both of them are in the books of Timothy, where the Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy how to be a good minister for the Lord.
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he says, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings” (1 Tim. 6:20). And in the second letter to Timothy, Paul says, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16).
In the first verse, the word “avoiding” is the Greek word, “ektrepo,” which means to “dislocate, deflect or turn away from.” In 2 Timothy, the word “shun” is translated from a different Greek word that means “keep away from, turn around and go the other way, a bystander, not a participator.”
Profane babblings mean ungodly ones and “vain babblings” is the Greek word “kenophonia,” which means, “empty discussions, discussion of useless matters, devoid of truth.”
Looking up these verses on-line in the Strong’s Concordance has really given me pause. Here’s the link if you want to take a look: https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=vain+babblings&t=KJV&ss=1#s=s_primary_0_1
I know that the Lord doesn’t want us to always be super serious and religiously pious. We see many examples in the Bible of the Lord instigating fun and laughter, but there is a fine line between having fun in conversation and going over into empty, ungodly vain babblings.
Every once in a while we can just check ourselves and take a listen to what we’re saying: Chitty-chat with a purpose and know where to stop and turn away.
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