Tonight in the van while watching a DVD my six year old asked, “Is ‘gosh’ a bad word? Because Franklin just said it.” Oh that naughty cartoon turtle. In an explanation I’ve given a million times before, I told her that it was not necessarily a “bad word” but that our family preferred not to say “oh my gosh”; instead we say “oh my goodness”. Of course she catches mommy saying this “Bad Word” sometimes, and little brother sometimes drops it off his lips like a swear word in a rap song.
Following the example of my parents, I set the standard for our speech high. For one reason some words just sound less vulgar than others. (We say “pass gas” instead of… well you get the picture.) But for another I want the kids to have some room to slip if they decide to rebel as teenagers. I would rather them say the word “butt” to be wild than other four letter words.
When we lived according to our earthly nature things such as anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene language were embedded in our spirits. But being raised in Christ we are no longer alive to them. Although we may slip in these sins, in no way should we any longer persist in doing them. Rather we should each day become more like Christ. Anger is my biggest fault from the list, although I haven’t lost my temper since yesterday. Ahem. But when I do lose my temper I make sure I confess to God as well as my children (since they are usually the ones with whom I lose it). I hope one day to drown the monster of anger in the waters of my baptism. The longer I grow in Christ the less I sin, but the more my sins trouble me.
Blasphemy (βλασφημίαν) means all injurious and slanderous speaking (either against God or man). Have you engaged in any slander in your speech regarding the current election? Do you find yourself degrading others with your speech? Do you laugh at the crude jokes our society find humorous, even sharing them again with others? “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen… Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Eph 4:29, 5:4). Our speech should be vastly different than that of unbelievers.
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. – Jesus