Month: May 2009

Foul language and maturity

Like many my age, I began to hear swear words around 6th or 7th grade. It would be cool to cuss in a sentence even if the word didn’t actually fit. Over the next couple of years I incorporated more swearing into my vocabulary part way to fit in and part way to be cool. All the cool kids showed rebellion and swearing was one of the rebellious things to do.

Nothing has changed.

Using foul language is still the same today as it was when I was younger and even long before that. But what I find myself thinking everytime I hear cussing – immaturity. What level of maturity does it take to let loose with cuss words for everyday speech? How much maturity does it show to swear when you are mad? If you are honest you would say – none. A sign of maturity is self-control. Another is not needing to impress your peers with bold words that stir up others around you.

When I joined the army back in the late 80’s I use to swear. After a couple of weeks of having to hear or say everything with a swear word I realized how childish it all sounded! Being in a group of “men” from 18 – 45 years old and everyone (including me) sounded like kids in junior high school, really got me thinking. I actually stopped swearing including words in cadences. I would replace words with something less or non-offensive. I couldn’t believe how childish men could sound.

Now, years later I still see the same thing. Funny how something that one will do thinking that it makes them look mature actually makes them look so immature. But to relate this to my Christian walk – how mature do other things in my life look to the Lord? Do those things impress God? I think not. Being puffed up about knowing God is immature. Being self-rightous is immature…. Being humble and gracious would be mature.

Let us who are Christians remember that maturity in Christ is shown in the fruits of the spirit.

Freedom in Christ

Break me from these prison walls
Free me from these chains,
The world around me closing in,
Following all to the end.

What does this life have to offer?
Where do I go for help?
When will I find deliverance?
Who will come for my rescue?

I am dead here – motionless,
I have no hope within.
There is no beat from my heart,
There is no thought remaining.

Breath, breathed upon me,
Life beginning new.
Light coming in my retinas,
True hope is here today.

You have been there this whole time?
Why could I not see you?
Such darkness that I had before,
Such light now seen radiant.

From inside is placed a new heart,
One that beat a new path.
My Savior, Lord, my Deliverer,
Has placed His in my chest.

Oh, if others could have this heart,
One that beats so fresh.
Such wonderful music it makes,
Sending life throughout.

Now my life is shining,
Though I may stumble or trip.
The Lord is full of Mercies,
Each morning made anew.

Why don’t others see you?
How do we cure this blindness?
Our sin is our disease,
And your blood the cure.

Lice and Sin

One way to look at sin is like lice. If you have ever had a child come home with lice you know what I mean. It seems the public schools have a lice season every few years and you hear about half empty classrooms and whole families who are dealing with the little pest.

Our daughter got lice when she was about 3. We let a homeless mom and her daughter live with us for about a month and our daughter was left with lice. We learned from people the different ways to kill the lice and eggs besides using the pesticides they sell at stores. My wife went through our daughters hair everyday for about 6 weeks with a nit picking comb, pulling out any eggs and bugs she could find until she didn’t see anything for about a week. You also have to take care of furniture and bedding, vacuuming and cleaning. We found that if you put the bedding in the dryer each day it would kill the lice with the heat, so that was a daily task.

Now, like sin, lice seems to go unnoticed for some time, then at the most inopportune time it rears its ugly head. People become untouchable or contaminated when they are found to be with lice. Lice like sin, then multiplies and multiplies. If you don’t let someone point it out or allow another to remove them, then you will remain in that state. When someone with sin in their life only gets angry at someone who points out the sin, then they will continue in that sin. Much like lice will not go away without someone else to take them out.

How you get lice can also come from similar conditions to how you “get” sin. You have to be around it, close to it, or involved in it, for it to take. Much of the sin people fall into, comes into their life because they went over to it and involved themselves in that sin, it just didn’t happen to come to you. Like drugs, most of the time you have to go to a party or someones house that you know is involved in that drug before you are surrounded and then taken into the drug’s world.  If we make a point to keep ourselves away from situations that involve sin, then we do good avoiding that sin. To me the sins we get caught up into are ones we make the personal choice to seek out. (I am not saying that every sin in our lives is obvious, but the sins that are considered “big” in our society, those ones that are most referred to in the news or even from the pulpit.)

So, how do we deal with sin? First, swallow your pride, or just kick pride out. Pride keeps us in sin, keeps us from going to God and keeps us on defense, defending our actions instead of admitting our guilt. Once we get past pride, we also have to deal with fear. Fear of what others think of us, fear of the consequences, fear of fear itself.  :~) These are things of our flesh, the core of our resistance to God and His saving Grace.

Next, we repent or turn from our sinful ways. This isn’t always easy, in fact, this is hard. We have to make a daily and even a moment to moment decision to turn from what we did do to what God wants us to do. His grace is sufficient and Love covers a multitude of sins, let Him do the work in you and enjoy the peace and freedom He offers by the blood of His son Jesus. Like the lice scenario, if you return to where you got the lice to begin with, chances are you will get them again. Don’t go back! Flee! RUN!!! 

Then remain on guard. Now, I don’t think you should dwell on the past, the things that you did, the sin the hurt you, but don’t forget them as well. Remember that you are weak and that you have strength in Christ. Sometimes you have to change friends, and usually you find that those friends weren’t friends at all. And when that sin is out of your life don’t judge those in that sin, remember how you felt when you were shackled with the sin.

As a Christian or believer in Christ you are free from sin. Sin no longer has power over you unless you give it the power. Sin that we take on as a believer is like picking up the shackles and holding onto them, the shackles may not be locked on your wrists, but you hold them as if they were.