One of my current favorite Christian books starts with a curse word. It’s not the way I’ve chosen to start my book out, but the author gets her point across and she shows her true self in her writing. Lately however I’ve really been learning about being my true self while at the same time building up others. Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I have a problem with cursing and crude language, and it’s one of those things that are hard to quit doing, especially if I am angry. It’s tempting for me to think that it’s no big deal, I’ve tried to excuse it by saying that people just made up those words and meanings anyway and that some people are just too sensitive.
Despite what some may think, it really does bother me that I use offensive words in my communication. Often I do it because I can’t think of any other word to use at the moment, despite the fact that I write and would like to think that I am pretty good at crafting words. One of my pastors told me he was going to buy me a thesaurus :p. I use those words because I am angry or upset and am not thinking straight to begin with. None of which I use as excuses for doing what I do. The point is that it’s easy to try and believe that it’s no big deal. I’m not knocking other Christians who have struggles with cussing or even those who do it who are comfortable with it. This is about me and my relationship with God and what I have been learning.
For me, a big theme in my life lately has been edification. Do my words and actions edify others? What is the point of words and actions that don’t edify others? What’s the point of even speaking or writing something if it’s not going to build someone up somehow? After all, we are the body of Christ and we are to be encouraging each other in our relationships with God. God has placed me in the particular church I am in to edify them, and their responsibility to me is also edification. My church family and I are an interesting dynamic. I tend to be on the progressive/liberal side of Christianity and they are very much on the conservative side, but instead of fights and arguments, we focus on our God and encouraging each other and building each other up.
God wants me to build up those in my local church family as well as the broader body of Christ in a global context. For me that means I can do this a lot better if I clean my language up some so as not to offend others. Me cursing is offensive to many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, however my not cursing is not going to offend anyone unless I am doing something else wrong. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I still struggle in this area, God has been showing me that it is important to consider and edify others when it comes to what I do and say, regardless of how I feel about it.