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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

"Lord Have Mercy!"

I remember being in the backseat of my friend's mother's car and we were singing Jimmy Buffet's, Cheeseburger in Paradise!" When we sang, "good god almighty which way do I steer" we got reprimanded for using the Lord's name in vain. After that we just quit singing that one line. I have never forgotten that because I did know I was not to use God's name.

I think having parents that did not use bad language was the biggest lesson for me. These are a few of the words you heard in the south when someone got in a tizzy. (I am not sure how to spell some of them!) "drat it, dagnabbit, I swanee, what in Sam Hill, dad blast it, dad gummit, what on earth, pray tell, oh my word, hold your horses, Heaven help and Lord have mercy!

A few months ago my minister mentioned James 5: 12 in a sermon. " Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned." I had never realized this scripture about swearing was so literal. We should not say, "I swear" because our character should be enough for someone to believe us. People should already know that we are telling the truth. I was also reminded that growing up we were not allowed to say, "I swear."

The past few years I have been so upset about "acceptable" talk in public, on tv, in movies, in songs, in commercials, etc. And it is only getting worse. The Bible tells us over and over not to talk ugly. As adults we have to be the example for younger people. I am saddened by the number of youth who think it is ok to cuss in front of me. Some people think, "oh it's not a real bad word." Yes, it is. You are just becoming used to hearing them. we are becoming desensitized to the language. It is still wrong. Look at the scriptures telling us not to use bad language!

Ephesians 4: 29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Colossians 3: 8, "But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips."

Ephesians 5: 4-5, "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

James 3: 10, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

Exodus 20: 7, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

2 Timothy 2: 16, "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly."

James 3: 9-10, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

I think bad language has become socially accepted and that is sad. I grew up believing that it is a lack of self control. It was disrespectful and you certainly would not use that language in front of a lady or someone older. And certainly a "lady" would not cuss. I know I am getting some eye rolling for this blog and I debated about posting it. But dadgummit I am tired of the disrespect! Heaven help us, let's do better!


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