IF YOU MUST . . . USE SOAP

Jun
2019
22

posted by on

56 Views This is more info
No comments

“Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

There was a day when many will remember that the use of a cuss word would immediately invoke the image of one’s mother holding a bar of soap. Claiming that she would wash out your mouth if she ever heard it again – it was more of a threat than actual practice.  Today it would likely be viewed as old-fashioned, an infringement of free-speech, or at the very least, an improper way to raise one’s child. It has become increasingly difficult to monitor the use of offensive words when, in reality, their common usage is pervasive. Social media has gone so far as to give profane expressions code abbreviations, so that users can apply the language without having to speak it. Whenever profanity is spoken around children or vocalized in the midst of those who might become offended, there occasionally will be someone who will voice the warning exclamation, “Language!” Perhaps then, those who are speaking will tone it down a bit. But what can you do when you walk by someone on their cellphone in the grocery store employing curse words that are obviously part of their everyday conversation?

Recently I had the experience of subscribing to a streaming app, because I wanted to view new episodes of a cancelled drama I had previously enjoyed on network TV. I got part way into the third episode and decided I just couldn’t watch anymore.  I don’t consider myself to be prudish, but the abundant use of vulgarities was just too over-the-top.  If this is how the dramatic series was going to survive, then they would have to do so without my viewership.  I wondered if there had been script concerns expressed by any of the actors who’d been involved in both productions. It most likely didn’t matter, since either way, it was money in their pocket. Writers will contend that use of this crude language makes their creation more realistic, arguing that the portrayal reflects how people normally express themselves.  For those of us who don’t want to share in this reality, they maintain that we have been given content warnings in order to make an informed decision to watch or not. My answer would be “not”.

Who among us has not articulated a few choice words after we have stubbed our toe or perhaps bitten our lip to prevent what might now days be interpreted as road rage after someone cuts us off in traffic? Cursing another person may take many forms. While it can be as demonstrative as using vulgar and unmistakable hand gestures out of a car window, it can be as inoffensive as mumbling what might be considered an inappropriate reference under our breath. Cursing is so commonplace that it shouldn’t surprise us that it seems to be built right into the emotional part of our brain. This is a cautionary challenge for we who are followers of Christ. If we rein in those emotions, then perhaps we’ll no longer need to use the “colorful metaphors”. Paul would warn us: “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language” (Colossians 3:8). God’s Word further tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

There are varied arguments that have been lifted about cursing.  Some say that people who do so have a limited vocabulary and just don’t know any better.  That argument doesn’t hold water, since many individuals who utilize expletives as part of their everyday language are very well-educated.  Others claim that it’s all based on perception. The Christian, then, is left to answer the question – is cursing or swearing a sin? James had a lot to say on the issue: “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless” (James 1:26). He continues: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10). When all is said and done, Jesus makes it quite clear – “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth” (Matthew 15:11). When we risk that our very light in the world is in danger of being extinguished, then we also risk that no one will come to see Jesus in us. So a word to the wise – clean up your act. If you must . . . use soap.

REFLECTION: Before you allow yourself to be placed in a situation where you will curse or be exposed to swearing, ask the following: Will this be beneficial to those who hear, or will it draw them away from Christ? Does my everyday speech show proper respect and reflect my true relationship with Him?

REFLECTION: Before you allow yourself to be placed in a situation where you will curse or be exposed to swearing, ask the following: Will this be beneficial to those who hear, or will it draw them away from Christ? Does my everyday speech show proper respect and reflect my true relationship with Him?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., JUNE 29, 2019. COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

See "About Me" tab on Homepage
Recent Related Posts

Tags:

Lift up a fellow Christian!

Beginning of Wisdom exists in order to foster relationship with Christ through journaling, fellowship and mentorship. Your comments are welcome and encouraged to: offer prayers; express how the author's post helped or encouraged you; reinforce God's truths expressed by the author; challenge or correct ideas with your own Bible-based input; request specific content; express thankfulness; etc.

You are not logged in. Log in or register to support your brothers and sisters in Christ!