Monday, March 21, 2016

On Profanity

"Profanity is the use of strong words by weak people."  source unknown

Sam was a construction worker with a filthy mouth.  He knew I was a Christian and sometimes he deliberately intensified his profanity just to see if he could shock me.  But I had been in construction work for years and had become accustomed to hearing it so I just ignored him.

One day a pastor friend of mine stopped by the job to talk with me for a few minutes.  Sam knew who he was but he made no effort to control his vile, filthy tongue.  Later, after my friend ad gone, I asked Sam to try to be a little more respectful in his speech.  His excuse was that he just couldn't help it. Profanity had become so much a part of his vocabulary that it unconsciously flowed out of his mouth.

Swearing is a lazy man's way of trying to be emphatic.  I asked him,  "Do you talk like that around your mother?"

"No way!" he said, "Are you kidding?"

"Well, then, you CAN control it,"  I said, "So please show some respect for other around you."

Sometimes I think people purposefully use profanity just to test my reactions.  Then they always make some sort of insincere apologetic gestures.  The quickly cover their mouths and say, "Oops," or "sorry," as if they think they have offended me.  But I am not easily offended or shocked by their lack of sufficient vocabulary.  

Hugh Prather gives us these sobering thoughts on the subject; "Profanity fixes the other person's attention on my words rather than my thoughts.  When (a person) swears,  (he is) BEING something rather than SAYING something."  

And most of us know what he is being.

"May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19:14

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