Lazy language has become one of the “acceptable sins” in the Church. Christian people can be heard using the B-word, the S-word, and the A-word, along with a host of other crudities.
Years ago, men, especially around women, would attempt to mask such behavior with silly statements like, “Pardon my French.” I don’t hear that much anymore. Actually, it’s been years since I’ve heard anyone anywhere apologize for his or her language.
But I’ve heard Christians using what we used to call “bad language” on the golf course and at fancy dinners, from the podium no less. I’ve heard it on campus and in restaurants and coffee cafes. I’ve heard it in professional settings.
This is not a "go-to-heaven" issue. I'm not making that case. It is, though, a "testimony" issue and, I suggest, a "professional" one as well.
People say "You are what you eat," but the Scripture says "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean" (Matthew 15:11).
So why are we, Christians, using more bad words? Frankly I don't know, other than it's what Francis A. Schaeffer said years ago: "Christians catch their values like they catch measles." In other words, we just absorb cultural values and actions by osmosis right out of the air and don't apply any spiritual discernment to what we're doing. So we sound like our culture and don't know it.
Using morally acceptable language is also a leadership issue. Leaders who spew aren't going to inspire people to sacrifice to reach the next level, I don't care who they are. Leaders with tainted vocabularies may gain fear, but they will not gain respect.
Maybe the words on my bad-word-list aren't the same as yours, but bad words are not a mystery. Like pornography, you may not always be able to define them, but you recognize them when you see or hear them.
Sanitizing or sanctifying our vocabulary is a good, positive, immediate-impact way to craft for ourselves a better image, reputation, and ultimately legacy.
Read more in my essay at "Pardon My French."
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2010
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