Replacement Words

2 06 2011

Last month my son turned 3!  For a 3 year old boy he is very verbal.  I mean the kids talks sun up to sun down and then some.  He has even been known to talk in his sleep.  As is the case with kids his age, he gathers his vocabulary from what he hears.  He has an amazing ability to hear and repeat words and phrases almost before you realize what you have said.  You can image what kind of reality check this is for parents as they have all the more reason to critically analyze what they say in front of their children.  As our son works on developing and exploring his growing vocabulary, we as his parents are becoming more and more aware of what we say that might seem fine for us to say, but seem strangely out of place coming from him.

Our culture is rather free with its words.  Whether you are at a ball game or just in your neighborhood, a remarkable number of people are willing to use words that, though they are not quite swear words, nonetheless imply a swear word.  Psalm 19:14 challenges us to “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”  I cannot help but think that when the words of our mouth are replacements for swear words that the meditation of our heart is not on the things of God.

Lest I start sounding pious or preachy, know that I fully believe that this is our sinful nature doing what it does.  We are inclined toward pushing the edge in our speech if not ignoring the line all together.  Why else do some many people find comedy acts humorous that would hardly get a laugh if not for the swearing?  By God’s grace alone are we able to clearly see the sin in our language, even in our use of replacement words.  When the Holy Spirit calls us into mediation on the things of the Lord, we are then able to make our language acceptable, not by our merits, but through Christ.  With our hearts filled by the Spirit with Christ’s love, the will of the Father is expressed in our lives and by our tongues, with no need for any replacements.

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