I started a new job last week and am really enjoying meeting the new people and training! But, the one thing I have really noticed is the foul language among my co-workers. Within the first day I heard about every swear word. It almost made me want to run to the hills. Not going to lie, on a rare occasion a swear word will escape my lips, followed by guilt and shame. But, I try to speak kindly, especially in a work setting.
The other night I was doing my devotional and came across the verse “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37 ESV). The Message Bible goes on to say, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying ‘I’ll pray for you’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”
So true huh?! I never really thought about how often I embellish, say things I don’t mean, and swear when things don’t go the way I want them to. Have you ever met someone that talks so much that you start to not believe a word that comes out of their mouth? Or someone who talks badly about everyone they meat, you start to wonder what they are saying about you when you are not around. How about someone who swears with every other word, you start to doubt their motives and intelligence.
In all these cases, we start to “lay down a smoke screen” and start to cover up who we really are and what we really mean. We turn people away from us, our friends, family and co-workers will not want to communicate with us because we are deemed over-exaggerator, liars, vulgar and disrespectful. James 3:3 instructs us to put bits into our mouths so that our tongues will obey us. Our tongues are “a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8). If we change our yes to yes and our no to no, we can help curtail the poison that our tongue possesses. We can use our mouth to bless our Lord and our friends. Let us all think about our speech and how it affects those around us, and our relationship with the Lord. Let us say what we mean and mean what we say. Communication is the key to healthy relationships, especially with the Creator who can read through our the sarcasm, cursing and exaggerating to the truth of our souls.