If you want a quick and dirty way to tell if someone is a Christian, step on their toe. If they say: “Oh, Fiddlesticks! Be more careful!” they probably attend church on regular basis. If they say: “Shit! That hurt, you asshole!” then they are probably a hell-bound heathen.
But in all honesty, many Christians are caricatured like Ned Flanders, Homer’s nosy, uber-Christian neighbor from The Simpsons. They will go to any lengths to avoid saying a naughty word, even though the emotions and pain they feel are the same as someone who strings more swear words together than a South Park episode. Many of my Christian friends have even come up with their own replacement cuss words. For example, one friends might say “She is such a B.” . My boyfriend can’t even say “titmouse” without blushing. And a titmouse is a bird!
Unfortunately, I cannot live up to that standard. Even though I am a Christian, I swear a lot more than I should. My friends often ask me why I resort to those naughty words when I have such an extensive vocabulary. So when I stub my toe, I should just exercise my creativity and come up with an alternative word, right?
Hell no! Why is that? Because it just feels so much better to let out a big and resounding:
According to this article, letting lose a few bad words is actually healthy and cathartic.
When used appropriately, swear words can capture attention and emphasize a point. That is why, in a PG-13 movie that allows only one F-word, that word is used most frequently at the climax to drive the emotion home. But when you are around people who swear all the time, the words get diluted in the conversation. They lose their shock and their appeal, and just make the person sound trashy.
Strong language is not a stranger in Scripture. For example, Jesus often referred to the Pharisees as “broods of vipers” (Matthew 12:34). Now that’s not beating around the bush! But He is calling their attention, and He can call it as He sees it.
Am I advocating we should be dropping F-Bombs right and left? No, but I do want to call attention to this fact that so many Christians constantly repress ourselves with our language. We don’t have to be so stuck-up all the time about this issue. I just read a novel by Frank Peretti, a creative Christian author, where a main character said “My rear end is getting cold.” Dude, my “rear end” has not been cold since kindergarten. Don’t detract from good storytelling just to avoid being a “potty mouth.”
Yet at the same time, if God calls you to correct the problem, it’s important to work on it. For me personally, the point of conviction comes where I do not want those words becoming part of my daily vernacular. The Bible states that “life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21)…which means that words have power. I don’t want my words to lose power…even the ones that are not so savory.
P.S. My made up swear word is “blinking” (n): to be used in place of a swear word when I am in a situation around children, work, or other situations where it really is not necessary for me to use such strong language.”