(06.28.21– Jesus Are You OK? –Matthew 12:34)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Should we be shocked by what we hear on a daily basis that takes God’s name in vain? Hasn't profanity become so ordinary, so mundane in our culture today that our reaction is a bit prudish?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
"Jesus! Are you OK?" I heard those words ring out across a campground Holly and I were camping at a few weeks ago. It seems that a lovely young lady camping next to us had stacked up some camping gear on a picnic table and when one of her camping mates reached for one of the items everything collapsed in a pile and it appeared that the unlucky camper had pinched a finger or something in the process. "Jesus! Are you OK?" She shouted in out a second time for everyone to hear. I just couldn't help myself at that point and I responded from our neighboring campsite, "I'm fine. Please be care- ful how you use my name though."
My patience had worn thin. For nearly three days we had been camped next to this young lady. From the minute she arrived with her four unleashed dogs until the moment she slammed that last truck door early in the morning, pushing and kicking her dogs back into the truck and left, the air had been blue with her cussing and swearing. "F" bombs, "G-D" bombs and everything in between were on her menu. Quite frankly I heard a few expressions I'd never heard before. Finally, when Jesus joined her assault on the English language, I just couldn't bear it. I really believe that she didn't even think about it at all. Swearing and cursing were as much a part of her daily coping as was breathing and taking in a deep breath from time to time. When things didn't go her way, a foul mouth was her coping mechanism of choice.
Should I have been so shocked by what I heard? Hasn't profanity become so ordinary, so mundane in our culture today that my reaction is a bit prudish? In fact some even feel that profanity has its good side. "Swearing results in a form of catharsis," says one psychologist. "People feel better when they swear." Another psychologist put it this way: "Everyone might not enjoy such moments, but we've "evolved to use them" for a reason. "It's much better to swear than to physical- ly hit someone." Really? Jesus tells us in the gospel of Matthew that: " . . . out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34).
If what we say reflects what's going on inside our hearts, can violence be far off? As I watched that young lady push, hit and kick her dogs, it was pretty clear what was going on inside her heart. Perhaps it was a mix of frustration, anxiety and impatience blended with a good dose of just plain loveless-ness and disregard for everyone else within hearing distance. Whatever the case, it was a heart that was in obvious need of some cleaning out. "Jesus, are you OK?" I know our Savior is fine. But how He must shed a tear every time His name is used in vain. Ultimately it's much better to bless than to curse. Violence is more likely a product of a dirty heart than a guarded mouth.
We pray. Heavenly Father, if, truly, what we say reflects what's going on inside our hearts, can violence be far off? Forgive us Father when out of frustration, anxiety and impatience blended with a good dose of just plain lovelessness and disregard for everyone else within hearing distance, we take Your name in vain. Sometimes we rationalize swearing as an outlet, a way of avoiding violence by be violent with our tongues. We know this is no less a sin than harming others with our hands. Our hearts are often in in need of some cleaning out. Help us by Your Spirit to keep them clean and free from curse words. Truly, how You must shed a tear every time Your name is used in vain. May our words be blessings or no words at all. Help us to have a guarded mouth. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.