Profanity, part one

Our family recently spent $100 on an investment that is going to pay dividends to our lives forever!  The TV Guardian is a device that you can connect to your television and dvd player that mutes expletives.  There are various settings you can choose to determine the strictness.  Whether you have children in your home or not, this device will bring great liberty to your family's media based entertainment!  The following blog is a re-post from 2008 that I am going to divide into two parts but speaks to why I believe guarding what we hear is an essential discipline as devoted followers of Christ.

Do you have a cringe? You know, that internal reaction we have at the moment we encounter something we deem inappropriate. Think for a minute, when do you cringe? Is it when you see a parent reacting in anger to his/her child instead of bringing instruction with grace? Is it when you see on the news a minority suffering injustice because of prejudice? I would hope all of us cringe at least in the face of the most egregious offenses we often have the occasion to observe.

But, how sensitive is our cringe? Does it take something most all of society would agree as being egregious to trigger our cringe? I want my cringe to react in concert with Jesus' cringe. We've all heard of the popular WWJD (what would Jesus do)...I am askingWWJC (when would Jesus cringe)? For example, we are watching some form of media: movie, television, on the web, and something sensual occurs, something suggestive, do we cringe...WWJC? We are with friends and someone begins to tell a joke that demeans another ethnicity, do we cringe...WWJC? We are, media, comedian, friend, stranger...and the expletives come, profane words are used, do we cringe...WWJC?

I would like to suggest that one reason we should be cringing at profanity is because Proverbs tells us that "we eat from the fruit of our lips..." (I'm leaving the reference out in hopes that you'll do some digging yourself to find it, do a word search for fruit and lips and see what you can find in Proverbs). In a spiritual sense, we consume the words we speak. Angry people stay angry in part because they are feasting on angry words continually. Desperate people stay desperate in part because they are feasting on desperate words continually. You can keep that list, certainly I am not suggesting that if we only change our words, we immediately change our disposition. However, I am saying with confidence that our disposition will not change without a change in our words. It is a key part. So much of our physical world was created by God to teach us about our spiritual life. Think of the impact the kinds of food you eat has on your physical well being. Why should the words we "eat" be any different? They aren't. We consume them spiritually and they either bring healthy nourishment or destructive effects.

How, does this relate to our cringe? We should be cringing because of what that person is doing to themselves. When we subject ourselves to a person spewing expletives, we are watching a person poisoning themselves; it is spiritually self-destructive behavior. Do you think Jesus cringes at that? Do we?

Part Two Tomorrow!

Pastor Fred