I'll admit it. I was sitting here at lunch time playing Candy Crush. I looked at a couple moves and realized one of them looked like a good move, but wasn't. As clear as a bell I heard my Mother's voice in my head.
"My Aunt Fannie, that's a good move." (It was always a negative reference - AND she didn't have an Aunt Fannie.)
I haven't heard that expression in decades, probably in more than forty years, but Mom used to say it occasionally, and it was a sign things were not right in the world. (It just now occurred to me what she was really saying, but that's not the point of this tale.)
We didn't swear much when we were children. You might not know what soap tastes like, but I sure do. A few times eating that delicacy and even the thought of saying a bad word tasted awful.
Oh, we knew what bad words were. Our Grandpa Mac often entertained us with his casual use of foul language, usually directed at us. We were always shocked.
Even the word "damn" wasn't used at our house, except occasionally by Dad and when that happened we were horrified and scrambled for cover.
I didn't even use bad language in college. Once I entered the working world I spent a lot of time in the local chemical plants and bad language infected my speech patterns. I didn't even realize it until HR called me in one day and told me they had complaints about my language.
I was embarrassed that I offended someone that badly with my tongue. Then I was ashamed and thought of how disappointed my Mom would be.
My language improved tremendously, but it's a slippery slope, so be careful.
In the Bible, Matthew (15:11) and Mark (7:15) have the same story, warning us:
Matthew 15:11 (NIV) What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'
Mark 7:15 (NIV) Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.
I'm seeking cleanliness and holiness in my life, and how I speak should reflect that. When someone claims to be Christian, yet says things that display a darkness within them, I have to wonder.
So if I had to say a prayer for this, it would be something like this:
Lord, my God, help cleanse me and give me peace and may my words bring you glory and honor in all things.
And I don't want to disappoint Mom.
Thanks for reading.