Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Ok, I am a bit nervous about my blog today. I am afraid that I am going to offend someone. I hope you will read it all the way through before you react.

This weekend, I got called a M*F*er. I was picking my daughter and her friend up from in front of a store and the van behind me started beeping it's horn trying to get us to move. Obviously, I couldn't move the car while the girls were getting in. And I could have quickly moved out of the way once they were safely inside. But this part of me rebelled. This wild child part of me that likes to throw down with people reared her ugly head, and there I sat....not moving an inch. Of course the van behind continued to honk. I sat. They honked. The girls squirmed and slid down in their seats. When I was good and ready I inched forward. They sped around and stopped, rolled down the window and the driver shouted, "You are rude. Why did you have to be a M*F*er?" Steely eyed, I stared her down and calmly said, "I didn't HAVE to be." I guess I could have said, "You speak the truth" because in reality I was being what she called me. A few honks of her horn were slightly annoying. My sitting and not moving on purpose, well that was totally rebellious and unloving and wrong.

One thing that hit me after this encounter though, was how her cussing at me had such little impact. Which I consider a good thing. You see, a couple years ago God really confronted me, hard, on my lack of concern for the unregenerated, the lost. Since all my friends were Christians and most of the people I worked with were Christians, I decided to get out there and mingle with non-Christians. One of the first things I did was go to a bachelorette party for a soon to be sister-in-law. All I can say is that I felt like a cloistered nun who after 20 years in the nunnery, was plopped down in the middle of a sports bar during the Superbowl. Total culture shock! I saw and heard things there that made my ears turn red. I am sure I blushed the whole time. I can't even describe how I felt, except I did ask God if He was sure I was supposed to do this missional thing.

Over the next few years, God lit a passion in me for the lost. But that meant that I had to get used to non-Christian behavior. I confess to you, my brothers and sisters, that I didn't realize that I was so incredibly judgemental about so many things. And hearing a cuss word, especially the "real bad" ones, would cause a physical reaction in me, almost like being slapped. I was so focused on stuff like swearing, that I lost sight of the person and the spiritual need. It hit me...I was Church Lady. This realization made me sorrowful and repentant.

I have a friend who, out of obedience and love for God, is working on stopping her swearing. I asked her recently if she only swore when she was angry. I asked her because I was curious about this whole swearing thing. I wondered if it was possible that God would have her to stop swearing while He would have me become more tolerant of swearing? Was I missing the boat? Was I misreading God? I know that some feel swearing is a cultural thing. Others think it is a spiritual flaw. I am not a swearer. It doesn't look right on me, just like spandex...spandex wouldn't look right on me. Yet, I know of some powerful preachers of the Word who swear. They are preaching the Gospel and are being used by God to transform lives. And so is my friend, who is trying to stop swearing.
So, to swear or not to swear...that is the question. Or is it?


Tonya said...

My husband swears, and so do I on occasion, and I try really hard to not swear, because it is not pleasing to God... Thanks for the reminder, is it ok to or not swear... Oh and by the way, My husband would have done the same thing, sit and not move an inch just to be a jerk back to the jerks that are in such a hurry that they can't even slow down to appreciate that you were letting your children into the car! Pulling up to the curve to get them is what you have to do with psycho's like that in such a hurry that they might not see one of our children crossing the road if we did not pull up the the curve... Way to go on that, making a point!

Margie said...

I realized this weekend, I didn't say one swear word, at work 15 minutes, 1/2 of one slipped out before I caught it. I refuse to believe that it's acceptable, I'm just desensitized (sp?). I am really working on it. Thanks for the reminder.

tina fabulous said...

"i didnt HAVE to be"
most hilarious response ever.

swearing barely registers with me. but i'm in the "who cares" camp on that particular subject.
i think if you were all wrapped up in pointless stuff like that, you wouldnt notice whats really important... like your bottle guy. christians use swearing as some sort of holy-o-meter or something. which is gay.

Tracey, in MI said...

swearing- what the ***** did you bring that up for?

I've been through the "church lady thing" too..... still bothers me when christians swear, not convinced it's SIN, just bothers me.

I am not the Holy Spirit. Not my job to convict others. But- it is my "job" to live under the conviction that God brings on my heart- for me- swearing (and lots of other nasty mean talk- including gossip- etc) is sin.

Because it is (generally) intentionally either hurtful (name calling) or offensive. (crude-vulgar)

Truth is- though- I say cr** and there are days when I say cr** and it's a nothing word- and days when I say cr** and its a swear word.

It's about the intent of the heart.

Something I have a hard enough time judging in myself- let alone anyone else;)

Additional point though- some people seem to think it's their "job" to desensitize- or swear for effect- knowing it offends someone else- maybe thinking it's funny. To me-intentional offense is wrong. It isn't loving one another the way Christ loves us.

That- bothers me.

Finally- as a mom- of teens- I try to avoid the "hypocrisy" trap- I don't tell my kids not to swear- (have yet to meet a mom who thinks its ok for kids to swear)then swear at them. I'm not just concerned about myself- but about being an example for my kids.

(though the time my oldest flipped me off- is a CHOICE story;)

so I suppose thats a LOOONG way of saying- I got no answers- but hear you;)

Tracey, in MI said...

too long- sorry;)

final point- i totally agree with Tina fab---- using swearing as a "holy-o-meter" is just as bad as anything else;)

hippieange83 said...

"Yet, I know of some powerful preachers of the Word who swear."
No way, Kathy. You must be a damn liar.

Sherry said...


Tom Harry said...

"i didn't have to be"

was the right answer.

there was someone in that encounter who needed a lesson just as much as you think you did.