Lately I’ve been trying to clean up my act. Mostly meaning I’m trying to not swear so much. I have a nephew coming later this month and either a niece or nephew later in the year. I don’t want to be teaching them how to swear and I don’t think their parents would like that so much either. So I’m trying to watch what I say very carefully.
In doing so, I’ve noticed that a lot of times the things that come out of my mouth are negative. That got me really noticing the things that I think are negative. How does this affect me and those around me? I can’t exactly put it into words but I can tell you one thing, it’s not a good thing. And frankly, it’s just not very nice, but I don’t think I’m a mean person. But I’m very negative, and why? Because my thinking isn’t aligned with God.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. … With the tongue we praise out Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. ~ James 3:6,9,10
It isn’t just that swearing is frowned upon and pessimism is negative and frustrates those around us. Scripture says that it’s evil and it and can change the course of our lives! Reading that is so disturbing. It’s disturbing because I’ve been pessimistic my entire life and swearing for most of it. The whole time I’ve thought that being a pessimist is just part of my personality, not something I could change.
Granted, changing my view will be difficult, but like the Bible says, with God all things are possible. Swearing will be difficult to stop, especially when it’s a reaction. Like just now my little bag of sunflower seeds toppled over on to the couch and I swore immediately. I can only imagine how difficult it’s going to be driving. I mean, no one in my city knows how to drive, that’s the only explanation!
As a Christian, I’m supposed to be Christ-like. People should see me and know my faith. But I don’t think they do. I’d bet all my money they didn’t. Mostly because of what comes out of my mouth! Which is saddening to me.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ~ Luke 6:45
Seeing everything in such a negative light isn’t good either. Here’s what Scripture says about that (specifically Jesus):
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. ~ Matthew 6:22,23
But there’s hope. With God, all things are possible. I can change my ways. It’ll be hard and probably take a long time and I’ll still slip up because:
…no human being can tame the tongue… ~ James 3:8
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying. So I won’t stop, but I’ll know that my mistakes won’t mean I should give up.
While swearing and negativity is my problem, I can say that using the Lord’s name in vain (which in my humble opinion is worse than just a swear word), like the commonly used OMG phrases, isn’t something I struggle with. Maybe part of that is from being born and raised in the south.
So I guess my point is I’m saying all of this to hold myself accountable for trying to swear less and see the world in a different light because I don’t want to pass that on to my nephew and nephew/niece coming. It’ll take a while, so I have to start now. It’ll be hard, but I have hope and help and explicit instructions from Scripture.
You’re more than welcome to try this with me. I don’t think it could hurt.