According to some, I use strong words. They’re right. I do. Some people are overly appalled by this, others are overly delighted. Both extremes make me uncomfortable. Thankfully, the majority of us fall somewhere in the middle. Being neither appalled nor delighted; we are merely amused, slightly discomforted or (as in my case) perfectly unaffected by the use of certain words.
At best, I find discussions about the language Christians should or shouldn’t use boring. At worst, I find these talks divisive – Arguing amongst ourselves over menial things on the interwebz is the last thing this already fractured Church needs. I have no desire to contribute to the nonsense of Christian on Christian judgementalism that always accompanies this subject.
In the last year I’ve been called crass, unholy, ungodly, immature, ignorant and lacking in discretion. I’ve been told God could “cure” me of my dirty mouth if I’d let him. I’ve been chastised, admonished, verbally spit on, and Bible beaten.
I’ve been called honest, authentic, real, true, and transparent. I’ve been told the words I've chosen have helped, healed, honored, and spurred others on the path toward the God we seek to follow. And I’ve been thanked, loved, blessed, encouraged, and accepted.
This may surprise you, but I was never given a list of God approved words. And I can’t imagine what would happen should such a list ever present itself. I know people who would keel over dead if “fart” was on the approved list, or “shut up”. And I know people who would straight up burn the list if came from Costa Rica where "bitch" is part of common language that 4 year-olds use.
You know, I’ve never really felt like God was offended by our words, since it is He who searches our heart and knows our offensive ways. The truth is, we choose words not for God’s ears but for man’s. We use them to condemn or to uplift, to include or to isolate, to edify or to confound. But if you like to think that God is more honored by the individual words you choose than by the statement you are making with them, by all means, continue to be appalled. And I'll keep doin' what I do - using the strongest words I can conjure to convey the weight of God in my life.
I'm totally cool with that arrangement.
I feel like I've written about this before.... oh yeah, it's because I have:
and also, here: Tough
So. Do you have a list of God approved words that guides you as you speak? What's not on it?