Summary: It's seems that what was taboo language a few years ago is the norm now, but does that make it right?
It really annoys me when I hear cussing in public. It’s like they are not only rude they are stupid as well, they don’t seem to understand that their conversation can be heard not only by the people they are talking to but by everyone within earshot.
Kind of like when restaurants used to allow smoking, it didn’t matter where you were in the restaurant you had to breathe other people’s poison.
And it’s not like you are eavesdropping, you are just sitting having a coffee, trying to enjoy a meal in a restaurant or standing in line for groceries and you hear language that used to be considered not appropriate for polite company.
And it’s not that I am a prude and haven’t heard those words. As a young teen I spent a lot of time around barns and when I was 15 I went to work with my dad on the tugboats out of Saint John New Brunswick and hanging around with sailors it didn’t take long before I had pretty much heard any words that I might have missed in high school.
And so if you take the time I spent on Tugboats, and oil tankers and Fishing Boats and the little bit of time I spent with the Military Police in the Reserves I think I’ve heard it all.
And through the years I’ve kind of developed some personal thoughts about people who use that type of language and I have discovered a few things about people who use vulgarities and blasphemies.
Jesus said in Matthew 15:17-18 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
It is a reflection of Who We Are for the most part we would like to separate those words from how people who matter see us and view us. That’s why people apologize for their language when they find out what I do for a living. It’s why people in most cases don’t use language like that in front of their mothers. Because they know that it will cause people to think differently about them.
And when the language slips out they try and excuse it or justify it, “That’s not really what I’m like, I don’t know where that came from.” We are like the Greek poet Euripides Who wrote “'Twas but my tongue, 'twas not my soul that swore.” But you can’t draw that line of distinction and yes my friend, regardless of how you want to colour it, it was your soul that swore. You might not want to admit it but what is in the well of your heart will eventually show up in the bucket of your mouth.
Your language says a lot about you, the use of obscenities don’t require a lot of imagination or a lot of intelligent. When you stop and think about it, for the most part obscenities deal with bodily functions or body parts and don’t really require a lot of imagination and while I’m not necessarily comfortable hearing them I’m not personally offended, after all they aren’t usually swearing at me.
My dad put it in perspective for me a long time ago when he told me that “obscenities are the refuge of illiterates and children.” Which kind of echoes the words of William Ward who said “Profanity is the use of strong words by weak people”
And you know what? When I hear someone cuss I automatically make value judgements about them, I know it’s not right but I immediately put them into a stupid category, not necessarily uneducated there are a lot of educated and seemingly intelligent people who talk as if they had been to hell for a post-graduate course with the devil as their speech instructor, but they sound stupid. George Washington said “The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.”
So why do people do it? I don’t know. But I here are some ideas: “Ten Reasons People Swear.”
10) It makes my mother proud
9) It proves I’m a grownup
8) It demonstrates that I have self control
7) It is an indication of how clearly my mind functions.
6) It makes my conversation pleasing to everybody.
5) It leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind as to my good breeding.
4) It impresses people with my education
3) It is an unmistakable sign of culture and refinement.
2) It makes me the type of person people want around their children
1) It is my way of honouring God
Regardless of the reason you might cuss, as a Christ follower here is a reason to not cuss. The word of God tells us in Ephesians 4:29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.