May 9, 2008

A Response Worth a Post

OK, confession time here...

I hit my head REALLY hard today and suddenly found myself saying some words I have been trying to forget for quite a while. Let's just say I'm glad it was just me, the chickens, and God around at the time.

A blog friend, John Martinez, posted an interesting conversation about the issue of language and how the believer should or should not use it. That discussion continued in his comment box and this post is one of my responses.

That said, I find myself wondering how Jesus responded out in the carpenter's shop with Joseph when he hit his thumb. You know it had to happen. I find it hard to believe he immediately knelt in prayer and thanked God for the throbbing pain in his left thumb. I just have to imagine he expressed his distress with some forceful passion - but did he utilize "uncouth" language?

I readily agree that our language puts our heart on clear display, "For out of the heart a man speaks" (still got a ways to go on the heart response when I hit my head really hard :-)!). But I wonder if we sometimes lump all language into laundry piles of "clean" and "dirty?" Perhaps "appropriate" and "inappropriate" would be better monikers.

My Grandfather told me, "Cursing is just a weak mind trying to express itself forcefully." These are some words I've carried around with me for a long time. He was doing foundation work to help me avoid lazy thinking habits.

Papaw, as you can ascertain from the bit of wisdom he shared, was not a foul-mouthed man. However, I did hear him cuss one time. He was setting a mouse trap and it caught him instead of a mouse. Interestingly, because I knew the character of the man, I never considered what he said as "dirty," in fact, I've always considered it an "appropriate" response at the moment.

This is a difficult issue over which to come to final clarity. I will say that our language is to be salty, but not in a sailor kind of way! (See Colossians 4:6) Whatever we say reflects on the glory of God. We do well to handle language carefully.

1 comment:

Random me said...

This made me smile,
I have a bit of a thing about the way in which swear words are often used, for example it wouldn't be uncommon to hear in Dublin young men and women who say the F word constantly, ex: 'I was going to the Effing shop to buy some Effing milk' which i just think sounds terrible.
That said, I have been know to use some fairly explicit language myself, rarely though and only when it is really called for!
I have an interest in words and how we use them, and how some have become 'bad' words and why this is. Often people use words with no real understanding of what they mean, for example (here's a useless bit of Trivia) the big 'F' word is an acronym and developed from 'Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge' which is worth considering when we use it.
Of course in Ireland we have come up with the ever useful 'Feck' which is hardly considered a swear word at all and is used liberally!