Do you have an inappropriate comfort zone? I do. I have more than one in fact. I am working toward getting these character flaws, bits and bobs under control.
Every year for Lent, (except this year for some reason), I try to give up swearing/cussing whatever you call it in your area. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I have a potty mouth.
Have you developed some unwanted bad habits lately? Have you been ignoring some long term bag habits that could be improved upon if only you would put in a bit more time and effort toward eradicating them?
It seems these days you are out of place if you do not display some sort of unpleasantness. People think you are not being, ‘authentic’ if you do not lower yourself to the lowest common denominator.
I think of it as, ‘The Broken Window Syndrome of the Soul’. Uh oh, someone more clever than I came up with that title already. I’m keeping it though because it is so appropriate.
It happens in so many areas of our lives, not just in how we speak but how we speak is a great place to start.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
An evil man is trapped by his rebellious speech, but a righteous man escapes from trouble.
From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the desire of the faithless is violence.
He who guards his mouth protects his life, but the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.
He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from distress.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their labor.
You have plowed wickedness and reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your mighty men,
So many scripture verses on this topic. How many sermons have we sat through on the power of the tongue and yet it is so hard to control?
The house next door is being renovated. There was a crew of men working there one day that was especially vocal. They were running power tools and cussing a blue streak at the top of their lungs! I almost said something but I wasn’t sure how to word it and I was actually afraid of retribution. these days, our lackadaisical attitudes have extended to removing protection for women in certain matters. I thought if I complained our home might be attacked, or me. But then, I heard a great response to this situation from Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s wife Susan.
She and her daughter were sitting on their stoop in Brooklyn, NY. Some men were using ‘blue’ language near them and Susan’s daughter said to them, ‘could you please not talk that way? there are children present.’. the men looked around for small children of course but what Susan’s daughter was referring to was she and her mother as being children… children of God!
Is that not true? We are God’s children and yet we expose ourselves to things to which we would never, I hope, expose a child.
I am not just talking about cussing or being obscene although I could do without the sex and bathroom jokes I hear in public.
I am also talking about the perverse glee with which some people delight in being negative and pointing out how your big idea, or dream, is going to fail.
I am also talking about sarcasm.
Being an attention hound (meaning, you turn the conversation back to you every chance you get).
Flirting. No matter if you are married (stop disrespecting your spouse!) or single, stop flirting.
There are so many ways we let ourselves down as Christians. Mostly we get into trouble when we forget to whom we belong and it is NOT Bill Gates, Google, Biden, Greta Thunberg or anyone one else out there who thinks they are king or queen of the world. Now this does not mean we go around demanding to have everything our way, to be catered to, or treated as if the rules do not apply to us, etc. because we are God’s special little angels. No.
As Christians the rules should apply even more to us as we are looked at as examples of righteous behavior (although more and more I think we are looked at as cautionary tales more than examples to live up to).
We all could do better and I am looking at myself in the mirror when I say that… Melissa… do better!
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. NJKV
But we have become under the power of so much, have we not? We have stretched the boundaries of God’s grace, perhaps even His patience. Thankfully He is merciful and loves us.
Are there things in your life to which you have submitted? Harmful and destructive things?
Remember, it is the little foxes that destroy the vineyard.
Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. NKJV
No matter how long you have been a Christian or how old you are, how ‘seasoned’ you think you are, the world is big and full of pitfalls. You are a tender grape. Treat yourself with care.