The other day I was listening to a talk radio show when I heard the host say, “What the h__ll do they think they are doing?” I said to myself, “I don’t want to listen to language like that!” and changed the channel. Then one evening I was watching a TV show and one of the characters said, “Just quit b__ching about your friend and go talk to her.” There I was again changing channels.
According to an Associated Press survey from several years ago, 64% of Americans confess to using profanity. Personally, I think it is higher. Let me ask, should this be seen as a problem in society? It should be because it demonstrates that nearly a super-majority of America’s population has a Mt. Everest-sized character problem. Here are three evidences that profanity is about character. 1) Anger-driven. When someone rattles off a series of expletives cutting people down like a weed-eater – it is about character. 2) Vulgar humor. When someone feels compelled to include gutter-language in every joke – it is about character. 3) Thoughtlessness. When someone spews forth their sewer-mouth around young children, true ladies and gentlemen and in general public settings (like social media) – it is about character.
I want to challenge us as a society to raise our standards. Let us start a hash tag campaign #nomoreprofanity to raise awareness of this issue and use positive peer pressure to encourage people to change their language.
Jesus is a model for raising standards through His famous Sermon on the Mount. He once said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37) This means to keep our language simple and clean and if we have a problem with profanity it is because we have a problem with our heart.
Changing how we speak can be difficult, if we do it on our own. However, if we call upon Jesus and ask Him to change our heart, then He will touch our lips too. May Jesus be our hope for today and our standard for living.