By Arlene and Marta
It seems to me that todays language among children, adolescents and
adults is much different than when I was a child. When I was a child,
offensive language was associated with dirty old men, drunkards, or sailors,
as the saying went, you curse like a sailor. Very rarely did I hear a
woman curse and never was the name of Jesus used so loosely as it is today.
Just the other day my children came home from school uttering a word that
I know they had no idea what it meant. To their surprise in my reaction they
asked, what does that word mean? I explained it to them, and I begged
them not to use a word they did not know the meaning of.
When I was growing up, we were often told we would get our mouth
washed out if we repeated slang words. Today, I know most individuals do
not know what they are doing or saying. For some it has become
fashionable, to others a habit and they do not really mean to be offensive.
Sadly to say, this language is causing tremendous hurt in the lives of loved
ones, their families and the church.
Besides the language, gossip, lies, complaints and criticisms are other
factors that divide and destroy individuals, families and churches. Put
downs and negative humor brings laughs to many at the cost of
SOMEONES pain. I believe policing what comes out of our mouths is one
of the most difficult tasks some of us must face today. We must guard our
tongues, and say only what is uplifting and encouraging for the building up
of the community.
Scripture has a lot to say about the use of our tongues. The following are
just a few:
You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God in vain. For the Lord
will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.
You shall not swear falsely by my name thus profaning the name of your
God. I am the Lord.
I assure you, on judgment day people will be held accountable for every
unguarded word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by
your words you will be condemned.
As for lewd conduct or promiscuousness or lust of any sort, let them not
even be mentioned among you: your holiness forbids this. Nor should there
be any obscene, silly, or suggestive talk; all that is out of place.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but
deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brother; you should realize
that those of us who do so will be called to be stricter account. All of us fall
short in many respects. If a person is without fault in speech he is a man in
the fullest sense, because he can control his entire body. When we put bits
in the mouths of horses to make them obey us we guide the rest of their
bodies. It is the same with ships; however large they are, and despite the
fact that they are driven by fierce winds, they are directed by very small
rudders on whatever course the steermans impulse may select. The tongue
is something like that. It is a small member, yet it makes great pretensions.
See how tiny the spark is that sets a huge forest ablaze! The tongue is such
a flame. It exists among our members as a whole universe of malice. The
tongue defiles the entire body. Its flames encircle our course from birth, and
its fire is kindled by hell. Every form of life, four-footed or winged,
crawling or swimming, can be tamed, and has been tamed, by mankind: the
tongue no man can tame. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We use it
to say, Praised be the Lord and Father, then we use it to curse men,
though they are made in the likeness of God. Blessing and curse come out
of the same mouth. This ought not to be, my brothers! Does a spring gush
forth fresh water and foul from the same outlet? A fig tree, brothers, cannot
produce olives, or a grapevine figs; no more can a brackish source yield
He who cares for life and wants to see prosperous day must keep his tongue
from evil and his lips from uttering deceit.
1 Peter 3:10
Breath and life are in the power of the tongue; those who make it a friend
shall eat its fruit.
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one crushed the spirit.
He who guards his mouth protects his life; to open wide ones lips brings
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the
perverse mouth I hate.
Above all else, my brother, you must not swear an oath, any oath at all
either by heaven or by earth, rather let it be yes if you mean yes and
no if you mean no. In this way you will not incur condemnation.
Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart; Acts of
fornication, theft, murder, adulterous, conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit,
sensuous, envy, blasphemy, arrogance and obtuse spirit. All these evils
come from within and render a man impure. Mark 7:21
That is why I tell you that nobody who speaks in the Spirit of God ever
says, Cursed be Jesus. And no one can say: Jesus is Lord," except in the
1 Cor 12:3
A fountain of life is the mouth of the just.
Then I said, Woe is me; I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the
Lord of hosts! Then one of the seraphim flew to me holding an ember
which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it.
See," he said, now that this has touched your lips; your wickedness is
removed, your sin purged. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying.
Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? Here I am, I said: send me!
And he replied: Go and say to this people...
Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to
hear, things that will really help them... Get rid of all bitterness, all passion
and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these,
be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God
has forgiven you in Christ.
WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
First of all repent of our sin and go to confession with a firm resolve not to
sin again. The grace through confession will help us. The next thing to do is
covered in scripture.
Put to death whatever in your nature is rooted in earth; fornication,
uncleanness, passion, evil desires, and that lust which is idolatry. These are
the sins which provoke Gods wrath. Your own conduct was once of this
sort, when these sins were your very life. You must put that aside now: all
the anger and quick temper, the malice, the insults, the foul language. Stop
lying to one another. What you have done is put aside your old self with its
past deeds and put on a new man, one who grows in knowledge as he is
formed anew in the image of his Creator. Col. 3:5:17
HOW ARE WE TO DO THIS?
Scripture instructs us:
Because you are Gods chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves
with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear
with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one
another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. Over all these virtues put on
love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christs peace;
must reign in your hearts, since as members of the one body you have been
called to that peace. Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Let the word of
Christ, rich as it is, dwell in you. In wisdom made perfect, instruct and
admonish one another. Sing gratefully to God from your hearts in psalms,
hymns, and inspired songs. Whatever you do, whether in speech or in
action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father
LET US PRAY,
CREATE A CLEAN HEART IN US, O LORD AND
RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN US. RESTORE RELATIONSHIPS
AND HEAL US.
HEAL OUR FAMILIES AND OUR CHURCH.IN JESUS
NAME WE PRAY.
Leap of Faith
Research Resources Contents New Items Prayerline E-mail Search
Leap of Faith Catholic Siteďż˝ 1996-2001