I'm getting better at not cursing, but I really struggle with it. And, like anyone giving up something in their life, I can get pretty sanctimonious about other people who still use bad language! Being on so many social networks, I get to see a lot of bad words. It's as if we don't know how to communicate without throwing a foul word or two into the simplest sentence.
I know that words are, well, just words, but the more I give up using the "dirty" ones, the more I realize how offensive they are.
When I growing up, I never cursed. NEVER. If I had, my mother would have knocked my teeth back into my gums. Mama taught me so many things by her comments about foul language:
- People who curse are too lazy or ignorant to use better language.
- It's disrespectful to curse in front of others because you're assuming they don't deserve your respect.
- Christians should use words in their everyday conversations that they would want to use in Heaven.
- Cursing doesn't make young people look grown, it makes them look as if they aren't ready to be adults.
- If cursing feels good, you should ask yourself why that is.
- If cursing doesn't feel good, you should ask yourself why that is.
- Some people curse occasionally - out of pain, anger, surprise or fear. That's not good.
- Some people go out of their way to curse. That's just plain sad.
- The more you curse, the better you'll get at it. That should not be a life goal.
Mama was right on all points.
When I see people on my social pages using bad language, I notice that they are making it into an art. There's even a kind of shorthand for "cussin'". (If you've seen people type "Da fuq", you know what I mean.) There's one person on a network who uses a curse word almost every time they post or comment - and this is a really otherwise sweet and intelligent-seeming person.
For myself, I had become almost a master at "cussing." I mean, I could hold my own Throwdown at the Cussdown! It got to the point where I would use the foulest words in the most casual way. I've recently realized that, like every other bad habit or sin, the more I practiced cursing, the less I thought about it. When anyone would remark on my bad language (mainly my sister), I thought they were being too critical. I don't even think I was really hearing myself anymore.
That's all kind of sad. But I am working to be better because I'm saved and I want to have a clean heart. How can I clean up my heart if I can't even clean up my language?
I'm catching myself every time I get ready to use foul language. My goal is to think more before I speak (which is a big job all by itself!), and to find another way to express myself. As I work at this, I've noticed a funny thing: the more I clean up my language, the more I clean up my thoughts. I'm almost being trained in one of the first things Mama taught me about talking: if I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. And that's just the truth.
Just imagine getting a text message from God the next time you start cussing: