The pastor preached one of those sermons yesterday that will reach just about everybody in the audience, everybody that is listening that is.
He talked about 1. The way we handle sex and money must be notably different than the culture around us; 2. Our speech must be notably different than the culture around us; 3. Failing to take this seriously may have eternal consequences.
The part that hit me most was that our speech should be different than those around us. I grew up very averse to swearing, even asking people not to swear around me. (I know, I sound like a little goody-two-shoes). Then you grow up, and swearing doesn't seem like a big deal.
I don't swear often now, but those words do come out every once in a while.
It wasn't really swearing that the pastor talked about though. It was what he called "Christian swearing." That means when we replace "Oh my God" with "Oh my gosh" or when we say "Fudge" or "Crap" instead of swearing. Everyone knows what we mean. Often, they hear the real word in their head anyway, so it's not saving anyone by us using those fake replacements.
What would be really amazing would be if we didn't need to say those words at all. In moments of trouble, what if we didn't say anything? What if we learned true self-control and didn't have to spout something out? Or what if we really relied on God and the first things out of our mouths was a prayer?
When I thought about how I should clean up my tongue, my first thought was exactly that --- what do I say in those moments of anger, annoyance or pain? I have to say something, so shouldn't it be something that is a little cleaner than swearing?
I think it might be my next challenge to see if I can replace those exclamations with prayers, telling God that I need help instead of relying on some meaningless word to get me through.
I'll let you know how it goes...