Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Proverbs 13:3 ESV)
One of the clear signs of spiritual maturity is the ability to listen without necessarily saying anything. Ministering to someone sometimes has nothing to do with the volume or extent of our vocabulary but with our ability to minister without a barrage of words. Comforting as words can be they are often too provocative, too abstract too patronizing or too judgmental. I would love to launch a movement that challenges people to be more sensitive to the words we use. Can we guard our mouths against gossip and perpetuating hearsay. Can we delete the offensive words that we inadvertently use. Even though our eyes might see ugliness, we don’t always have to articulate ugliness. The truth is there are just some words that are ugly. Be aware that some things are just inappropriate to say, even when we camouflage or disguise them behind our culture. I am inviting the church to lead by example. Can we pledge to sanitize the disrespectful words, the less than complimentary remarks we make about each other. Can we commit to a vocabulary that displays more contemplation and reflection. One that considers the humanity of each person. Rid yourself of words that degrades, dehumanizes or demoralizes people. Let us trade in the vulgarity for more inspiring language. Let us teach our children alternative ways of expressing their anger or disapproval. Vulgarity comes too easily. It’s entrenched in our vocabulary.