Confession: I have had a terribly filthy mouth in my day.
That’s totally lame. I know it now.
Anyway, a combination of being married to someone who wasn’t much for cussing, having children and not wanting to talk like that around them, and beginning to walk with God cleaned up the filth, for the most part.
But sometimes I have, shall we say, relapses, and my tongue gets a little loose.
I had one such relapse a few weekends ago when Bill and I spent the weekend at the beach with my sister, Tiffany, and her husband, Josh. We went to celebrate my 40th birthday, and it was just what I hoped it would be: we laughed a lot. I took naps when I wanted. We went out to eat at “adult” times. We walked on the beach. We rode in the Jeep Wrangler…it was perfect.
But, when I am around Tiffany…I might cuss a little…ok, I might cuss a lot. I guess I feel comfortable with her; I know she won’t think I’m a bad person.
Of course I knew at the time it was wrong, but I kept doing it.
Once the weekend was over and we got home, God began convicting me about my unholy talk.
During our morning devotion the Monday after our beach weekend, my director used some verses from Colossians, and one of them talked about how Christians needed to avoid filthy talk.
There were 15 or 16 verses in the devotion that morning, but I zeroed in on that one. I knew God was talking to me.
That afternoon, I texted Josh and Tiffany and apologized to them. I apologized to Bill as well.
A few days later during my quiet time, I read 2 Corinthians 2:15 about our lives being a sacrifice to God to use to reach people around us. This made me think of my mouth again. Everything I do and say reflects God to others. My life is how I worship Him.
What God was saying to me was obvious: I cannot have a filthy mouth and be a tool for God to use to draw people to Himself.
I worship God with my whole life – it is my sacrifice, and it is on display for all to see (and hear). There shouldn’t be any unholy talk.
No inappropriate jokes.
No foul language.
Since I’ve taken the first two steps – acknowledged the conviction and apologized for my wrongdoing – I have to complete the journey. To fully repent, I must turn to God and away from the sin.
What does that look like?
Maybe I have fewer relapses.
Maybe I stop cussing altogether.
Maybe I don’t even think in cuss words anymore!
That would mean that I have truly and completely allowed God to change me – what I say and what I think.
And if those words don’t come out of my mouth, then they aren’t in my heart.
That is truly what I want to give back to God. A changed heart.
Pray this with me:
Thank you, Father for choosing me, and thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending your Son to die for me so that I could spend eternity with you in Heaven.
I want to be a tool for you to use, Father. Change me so you can use me.
My life is my worship, Lord; everything I do and say points to you once I say I am a Christian.
Continue to convict me. Continue to show me things in my life that need to be given over to you. Continue to make me more like you.
I want my life to be a sweet-smelling sacrifice to you – every part of it. Do this in me today, Father.