I can still taste the soap.
The one time I knowingly cussed in public, I was at the dinner table. The cat came over and bit my foot. I promptly prophesied the cat’s eternal destination.
Then I copied 5 chapters of the Bible in my room at my parent’s polite request.
Despite the Christian aversion to foul language, I have read the Bible a couple of times and haven’t yet found the list of words I’m not supposed to say. How do I know which words are really bad?
Maybe I should try a few on my pastor and see which ones make him cry.
Then again, there’s that verse that says to those who have “learned Christ,” “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 NASB) So, first, I should not say anything “unwholesome”. This word is variously translated “corrupting” or even “evil.” Secondly, I should only say things that build up people, especially their faith,
and that sound gracious at the time.
That eliminates 90% of the words that have ever left my mouth.
To make matters worse Jesus says to a group of religious leaders that falsely accused him, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36, 37 NASB) Yes, he said “careless” as in “idle” or “useless.” The judgement of my internal character is based on my words: good, bad, or idle.
Now my list of cuss words seems trivial. Forget about bad words, most words I say reveal nothing good about my character, nor do they improve the lives of those around me. What to do?
I suppose I should start with a little more silence in my life, listening to and reading God’s words rather than my own. Then, when I am in conversation with someone, I should ask more questions than make statements. Finally, when I must say something, I should consider its impact on them.
Then I should repent, because there’s no way I’m going to get this right.