This is a continued journey into Hello and Good Day, a new way to discover love and change things. But to change things, we’re going to have to take a good hard look at ourselves first and decide if what’s inside is worth keeping. Thank you for sticking with me and being a great listener and active participant.
Somewhere along the way cursing became more about the word than the heart of the matter.
Somehow saying shit when you stubbed your toe became worse than calling someone an idiot. For some reason saying fuck when you break a power tool became worse than using condescending air quotes to mock another human being.
Language is not the words themselves but the intent and target of them. When we turn words into weapons they most definitely and literally become curse words. Calling someone a piece of crap is worse than saying, “Shit, I’m sorry.”
Language is a window into our souls and shows people what we value, and, more importantly, what we don’t. Racial slurs demean man created in the image of God. Sexist comments demean women and enslave them to a life of secondary citizenship. Women were the first to learn the good news of Jesus’ resurrection! How dare we create glass ceilings with petty words. We curse those around us with words that seem innocent, while demonizing words that are really just outlets for passion and raw honesty.
Can these four letter words be bad? Yes, of course. But not by their very nature. They are bad when we turn them on others and ourselves to destroy, demean, and demonize. Sometimes language shows what matters to us. The Apostle Paul swore¹! Yes, that Paul. The guy who wrote a bunch of the New Testament.
Just look at Philippians 3:8. It’s translated to rubbish/garbage but really, he’s basically saying something culturally equivalent to shit. He wanted us to know how worthless everything was outside of what Christ had done for Him. He used language to shock people and make a point. He didn’t use it to hurt them, just to awaken something in them.
So that’s how we use language. To communicate an emotionally clear message of truth and love. We’ve got to realize that sanitizing the gospel isn’t doing anyone favors, and pretending that cuss words are somehow evil in themselves doesn’t help either.
- Skybalon y’all. Basically ancient greek profanity. Paul uses it to show how worthless everything is in comparison to who Christ is and what He has done for him. Philippians 3:8