Saturday, October 29, 2011

Darn You To Heck

First let me personally welcome you all to my blog. I hope that you enjoy these words, and that they will cause you to think in a way that you previously have not. I don't claim to be a great writer, I just enjoy thinking. Thank you for spending your time reading, and please share these words if you wish.

Our culture is full of people who voice their opinions on profanity, its acceptability in public, and whether or not it is wrong to use strong language. I have heard people make the argument that there is a difference between profanity and slang or strong language. There is a certain level of depth to this standpoint, and I understand where they come from, but for me the issue comes in having to justify why they use certain words and phrases. One of my mentors once told me that if you have to stop and justify what you are doing to yourself or to others, there is a good chance you should reconsider that action. This is not to say that justification has no place. Obviously there are times when you should be accountable and open to other people asking you why you are doing certain things.

My problem with swearing and using profanity comes from a faith standpoint. I want to establish from the beginning of this blogging journey that I am a Christian. Not a judgmental or hypocritical follower of Christ, but a firm believer in loving God and loving people. That being said, I have issues with saying words that could cause people who do not believe like I do to question the validity of the Christian faith. If my actions do not match up with what the world expects to see in a true believer, I have fallen short. You can make a point that we should not try to live up to the world's expectations, and I agree with that; what I am saying is a little bit different. I think I am right in saying that most people who do not believe in God view the Christian faith as largely hypocritical, and there is plenty of solid ground to make that case. I also believe that there is a picture in the minds of many of what a true Christian would look like. I don't want to merely dance on the line that separates true believer from false believer, I want to run as far away from that line as I can into the true believer realm. In order to do that, the words that come out of my mouth can never suggest to people that I am just like the world. When people hear me speak, I want them to realize that I am different. Not better, not pretentious, not a jerk. Just different. I want people to be confused by and attracted to the difference, just as people were by Jesus' words.

With all of that in mind, I am not judging anyone who chooses to use profanity. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Matthew 7:1) I do not seek to condemn anyone or come across as overly righteous. I just want to be accountable to the world that I choose to be different with my vocabulary. If any words that I say cause another person to stumble in their faith, or have a skewed view of Christianity, I have dropped the ball big time. Can anyone be perfect at this? Of course not. All men have failed, including me. And I will always be susceptible to failure, just as we all are. But I want to rise above the social norms of this world and choose to let my words be kind and gentle.

"Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." (Proverbs 16:24)

(Note: Thank you for taking the time to read. You can follow me on Twitter @matthewormand)