Thursday, June 5, 2008

Clanging Cymbals

My wife and I took our two sons, ages 8 and 4, to eat at Moe's Southwest Grill the other night (welcome to MOOOOOOOOE's!). We were hanging out on the patio, stuffing our faces with burritos and nachos, when we were interrupted by an inconsiderate teenager.

The teenager opened the patio door and began yelling profanities at his friend, who was sitting near us eating dinner with his girlfriend. At first, I tried to ignore it, but after a couple curse words, I snapped my head around and glared at him. He immediately knew I was steaming, and reached a hand out and said, "I'm sorry."

I understand that he didn't realize that there were kids there. But, in the end, does that really matter? If my young children were not there, does it make it any better for someone to casually use profanity?

I wrote about this a few months ago, and actually had some interesting exchanges with folks who have opinions different than mine.
I just see no excuses for using profanity in regular, day-to-day conversations.

Striking your thumb while hammering a nail is one reason one may blurt a 4-letter word. But, talking with a friend or co-worker in the company of complete strangers is another thing altogether.

Corinthians 13:1 says this: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (NIV)

To me, this says that if I am running my mouth just to hear myself speak, and I am not speaking with love or consideration for others, I am just a noise-maker. An airhorn. A clanging cymbal.

Look, I realize we all run our mouths way too much, regardless of whether or not we use profanity. I talk WAY too much. I find myself personifying the clanging cymbal all too often. But, senseless profanity and vulgarity is always a clanging cymbal - not only to others, but to God. He wants us to use words and language to edify. Not to look cool. Not to fit in. Not to build up our own egos.

If you use profanity from time to time (or perhaps more frequently), pray that God will work in and through you to remove this bad habit. Choose your words carefully.

You never know who's listening.


Unknown said...

Dang, I enjoyed that post. Last three days of Bruce deserves some ... anyways, good post.


Robert said...

My theory is that people use profanity to fill in gaps in their vocabulary.