Have you noticed the way people talk? Of course you have. Me too. It breaks my heart to hear not only profanity, but also vulgar talk and course talk. It is a huge epidemic. And what is so sad is that because it is everywhere, many people have become desensitized to it. Especially young people.
I am so sensitive about this and can write about it because I grew up in a very dysfunctional home with an alcoholic, verbally and physically abusive stepfather. Profanity was a way of life for him. My mother and I heard it constantly when he was drinking and frequently when he wasn't. I became desensitized to it.
Because I was so afraid of him, I never talked back to him. But when I left the room, I showed him. I gave him a royal cussing out in my mind - or if I was feeling especially brave, in a whisper. No one heard - just me - and God. I realize now that I was seething with hidden anger.
The problem with all that is that it became a habit of life for me. So not only would I do it about him, but about anything that annoyed or irritated me. It was my way of letting off steam/releasing my anger without anyone getting hurt - or knowing. Except me of course. And God. God knew all about it and was deeply hurt and well, when something becomes a habit, it's very hard to break.
Mind you, I knew that I shouldn't talk that way. That was obvious because I did control it around most people. But there were times - usually with my friends, many of whom talked the same way - that I just let 'er rip.
I wasn't a born again Christian at the time that this was going on. Oh I would have said I was a Christian because I believed in God, knew Bible stories, had attended church and had even memorized a few scriptures. But it wasn't until I was twenty-four that I realized what a sinner I was and surrendered my life to Christ and trusted Him for my salvation and forgiveness of sin. But by that time, those profane, course and careless words were an ingrained habit for me.
I didn't realize until many years later, the impact words have on us. Speaking is a gift of God and as such, should honor Him and others.
Our words communicate much more than just the dictionary definition of them (and some of those words aren't even in the dictionary!). Our words show who we are and what we're like. They show whether we are able to converse civilly, socially and cordially in a manner that honors and respects ourselves - and others. And that concerns everybody.
But if we say we are a Christian and use course, foul, or profane language, we dishonor and shame the Lord. It's not just ourselves we hurt. We hurt His name and His reputation.
So here I am - 63 years old - and I wish I could tell you that I've totally cleaned up my language. I can't. Like I said, old habits - twenty-four year habits - are extremely hard to break. Before I surrendered to Christ, I tried SO hard to break that habit with my own will power. But it was ingrained and I had no real power in my life to break it.
I often prayed after trusting Christ, asking Him to do a miracle eradication of bad language from my life. But He didn't. I felt such guilt and shame and for some time didn't understand why God didn't answer my prayer. But God faithfully showed me that the reason was that He wanted me to realize how totally dependent I am on Him. I can no more go one day - one hour - one minute - without the help of His wonderful Holy Spirit to walk in a way that honors Him.
If I even go one day without spending even a little bit of time asking the Lord for help to walk worthy of Him, I inevitably stumble and let 'er rip. But if you had known me then (at 24), and you knew me now, you would realize what a miracle God is slooooowly doing in my life - making me into the person He created me to be.
And the other good that my patient God has done through it all? He has helped me to understand and empathize and pray for those who have been trapped - like me - into thinking that words don't matter - or not thinking about their words at all. There's hope for all of us - because of Jesus.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9