Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I stopped cussin'

Once you delve into The Word, you'll never be the same.

I've ended a lifelong habit of using foul language. I'll have to check my blog to see when I decided to stop cussin' and cursin' but I know it's been over a year. At first I just wanted to challenge myself to exercise mindfulness on a daily basis. But after the first day I realized it was gonna be a leetle bit harder than I thought it would be.

Try not to use any foul language for 24 hours. Next, extend it to 48 hours, then go for seven days in a row. It'll fry your brain.

I set this goal for myself on a whim, but it changed me. I know it sounds like such a minor undertaking but it turned out to be so much more. I used to spew forth four letter words right and left right in front of my eldest son when he was a tot. I didn't give it a second thought and little did I realize how awful it sounded. But I sounded like everyone else I knew. My mother and father both use foul language. Everyone I knew used foul language. I never gave it a thought. It is an outer expression of an inward state of mind.

I didn't see anything wrong with pornography either. I told my oldest son when he was 15 that I didn't want it in the house, but such a hypocrite I was. Question is, why did I figure it was okay for me but not for him? Seventy-five percent of Americans call themselves Christians and yet pornography is a 6.3 billion dollar industry. I considered myself a Christian when I got a survey from our internet service provider that asked what type of subjects we wanted more access to and I clicked several options, including pornography. Well! I was being an honest Christian consumer!

Doesn't look like I'll be running for office any time soon. They'd wipe up the floors with the Liliana. But a worldly Christian looks just like the world.

Now when I hear profanity it's ten times uglier than it used to be. When the human ear is constantly exposed to vulgar language the mind grows desensitized. The nose becomes accustom to the stink. Habitual cussers no longer smell the putrid stench and it flows out of them unabated.

At first I'd get by a couple days. Every time I let loose, I'd say "Okay, I'm starting over...starting...NOW!" I had lots of new starts and lots of prayer time. I admit, I still think bad words sometimes. Sometimes a good cursing just seems like the best thing to make a problem, an irritation, a hurt, smaller. I suppose it releases some energy, but is it what I want to release into my world. Words matter. Words are powerful. People, as Fox once said, remember words.

We have a neighbor who says that she and her husband are cussing a lot less because our son reminds them that they shouldn't. She was smiling when she told me about it and then she said our son is a good kid. I think she felt good about cussin' less. They were successful truck drivers before retirement. Sometimes my husband tries to cut back on his cussing. He's an ex-sailor.

For Bible study today I did a drama with my son. I acted like a truck driver spewing forth the Lord's name in vain (he got a hearty laugh from my acting) and I asked him, "What should you do when you hear someone use our Lord's name in vain?" We are so weary of hearing Christian and non-Christian alike say "Oh my God." It is the most worn out, overused, tired phrase, eveh. We discussed it and I told him this. Say, "Hey, I know God's son, Jesus! He lived. He died. He said in three days He would Rise. And He did." I'm going to do this too. We're sick of hearing the Lord's name used in vain. People need to get a life.

Anyway, I challenge you today to stop cussin'. Go for it. It's the road less traveled. It's a worthy endeavor.

Now if I can just be more thoughtful of others every day. That ought to revolutionize my life.