Sunday, March 22, 2009

In a Word

Ephesians 5:4
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Last night Doug and I took our daughter Kacie and her boyfriend to a local theater to watch a movie. I accompanied them to the ticket window. There were teenagers everywhere. It was tough to walk as they just milled around aimlessly it appeared. Finally we got to the window, purchased the tickets and they went in to watch the movie. I headed back to my van.

As I was walking back through the groups standing around me couldn’t help but notice this one young “lady”. I use quotes because there was absolutely nothing lady like about this girl. She was beautiful, with long dark hair and big brown eyes. She was dressed in the uniform of youth. Jeans, t-shirt, black hoodie and tennis shoes. As I approached she jumped to her feet and a string of filth came out of that tiny bowed mouth that would make a sailor blush! The child used the F-bomb up to 4 times in a 10 word sentence! I stopped, astounded and stared, I just couldn’t help it. Well, I shook myself to stop myself from grabbing her and pushing her face into a nearby water fountain to try and clean her mouth out. She isn’t after all, my problem. Thank goodness! But as I walked away, I began to think about it and I changed my mind. Yes, she is my problem, or will be soon in some form or another.

The one thing I notice when I’m around teenagers in any forum, even at church, is the complete lack of self control and self respect they have when it comes to their language. I have come to realize that they are desensitized to it. The names they call each other! Names that would have gotten you slapped silly when I was a teenager. I’ve heard girls call each other “Ho” and other vicious names that make me sick to my stomach to hear. When I have confronted them about it they simply are astounded that I don’t realize that it doesn’t “mean anything, it’s just a joke.”

One phrase that comes quickly to mind and apparently is the most common used is, “OH MY G&D!”. They say it about anything and everything. They completely miss the point when you tell them that they are using the Lord’s name in vain. They look at you and say, in most cases, “But I didn’t say the “G” word!”
I watch a lot of home improvement shows, you know the ones where at the end there is the great reveal of the project? The most common phrase? Yep, you guessed it, “OMG”. I actually counted on one show and the women on it used it 36 times in 5 minutes! It made me crazy! Now, I watch the reveal and mute the sound.

“No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” - Ephesians 4:29

The tongue is a weapon of tremendous power, it can heal or kill, and it can lift up or tear down. It can leave scars as wide as a roadway on a soul. Words that escape our mouth before being filtered through our brain cannot be stuffed back in. You can’t take it back once it is out there. And honestly, I’m sorry just doesn’t do any healing at all.

“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” - 1 Timothy 4:12

Anger, in all honesty, was why the girl last night was using such horrific language, but I truly believe that she uses it in play, fun and common conversations as well as when angry. The comfortable way she spoke the words proved that she used them constantly. The fact that this girl was so pretty on the exterior, makes it all the more sad that she is so very ugly on the inside. Her mouth was twisted into a grimace that could rival a gargoyle, showing her teeth in an animal like manner. Her eyebrows came together like slashes of fur across her forehead and her tiny hands were clenched into fist, ready to pound on someone. The hate and angry, filthy words had transformed this lovely young girl into a monster in my eyes. It makes me so sad to see and hear this.

“But now you must put away anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. - Colossians 3:8

Believe me when I say that I’m guilty of using bad language as much as anyone else. Yep, the occasional curse word or slang phrase does escape my mouth at times of duress. In all honesty it is a bad habit, one that I struggle with daily. This incident Saturday evening only points out to me how hard I must work to keep from allowing my words to hurt others.

Yes, curse words hurt others, however mild they might be. It tears down my witness and after all is said and done, I have progressed not one inch in the walk I hope to walk with Christ.

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