Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Cursing Tongue - Day 22 of Lent
This is the classic scene from Christmas Story where the boy gets the old "wash out the mouth with soap" treatment for cussing. While we laugh when we see it, there was some wisdom to what moms used to do in yesteryear! A direct application of discipline to the offending part!
Today's passage is about profanity. I have to confess that in my mid-20's I was a bit of a potty-mouth. I loved nothing more than a dirty joke and if it had some salty words in, so much the better. Ever the legalist, I had certain words I would NOT say out loud and somehow thought that avoiding those made my sin less. WRONG!
When I placed my entire trust in Christ in November 1993, it stopped. Just like a cork went into it. Oh, I still know those words, but they're not my first thought when I'm frustrated. As my children have switched to public school and started hearing those words on a regular basis from other students, they have occasionally incorporated one or another into their vocabulary. I've always told them that using curse words shows a tremendous lack of imagination, and both of them have great imaginations and vocabularies, so it isn't necessary to use those words.
But this all masks the deeper issue, which is expressed in James 3:8-9, But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
The author of Taming the Tongue writes, "understanding that profanity resides in the heart helps us to reject the idea that a curse word 'slipped' out of our mouth. The reality is that it slipped out of our heart." Wise words. The Lord looks at what is in our hearts. Ouch.
Lord, my desire today is to produce words from my heart and out of my mouth that glorify and honor you.