To Curse or Not to Curse

As you move along in your Christian walk, there are words you are expected to use… and some that you are to remove all together.

The obvious words to be removed are the very ones used by the “sailors.”  Preface: “I’m sorry” to all the sailors, I’m certain not all of you have a “sailors mouth.” At-any-rate, the words to omit are the a-word,

b-word,

c-word,

d-word,

f-word,

g-word,

h-word,

j-word,

n-word,

p-word,

and s-word.

Did I get them all?  Please don’t sit there and think it through,

… seriously, stop.

MOVE ON.

I have done a pretty good job of omitting the obvious above (except when I’m almost hit by a car – then oddly the s-word finds its way straight out of my mouth without hesitation—I have no idea how this happens, which is why I can’t offer my pastor a ride anywhere).

Now let me move into the gray-matter. There are the less obvious words that some Christian friends have suggested I drop… yet I haven’t. I don’t use them much, but occasionally they show up when I need a BIG expressive word. Ready for them?

Crap, shoot, sucks, dang. These are part of my language.

In most cases I can’t figure out what is REALLY wrong with them. In-fact I take more offense to a nice Christian mom saying “oh cheese and whiskers” as opposed to saying “oh crap!” Truth of the matter is that both of us are replacing some less savory explicative for something more acceptable. And it’s true that cheese is good, and whiskers on kittens are one of my favorite things… but still I choose a more stinky word.  I’m sorry.

But let’s move along to the more odd and strange.

The words Christians are SUPPOSED to use. It’s an odd twist of Christianese.

For example, I’m learning that the word “pray” should replace the words hope, wish, etc…  I was first clued into this when I read the end of a casual email, “I pray your weekend is wonderful.”  Gosh (opps, is that okay to use) did you really just pray for my weekend. I mean that’s totally fantastic because even I forgot to pray for my weekend. I remember to pray for my friends, my ministry, my hubs, but my weekend… I’m really glad someone was looking out for me!

But honestly, didn’t they really mean “hope your weekend is wonderful”… but as a super-Christian it’s better to use the word pray. So this person didn’t REALLY pray, rather they just wanted to “wish” me a good weekend.

But come to think of it, I suppose Christians can’t wish either.  You can’t wish to God, can you? Well, this changes everything! This now means you can’t sing along with Jiminy Cricket (another alternative curse word) as he croons “when you wish upon a star…”  Instead you are to pray upon a star, and I’m thinking that God doesn’t even find that acceptable. In fact it sounds a little astrological fortune-telling to me—and we all know where God stands on that stuff. And birthdays are just a mess! No more making a wish before blowing out the candles. Maybe we should have a silent prayer moment in its place?

Oh this Christian language is getting hard. I wish it was easier. Opps.

In fact I should “pray” us all good luck in getting it right. But wait, Christians don’t believe in luck! It took my niece at the tender age of seven to admonish me for using the work luck. See, we believers believe in blessings and providence. So while we can appropriately swap out luck for blessing with the phrase, “finding that $20 bill on the ground was sheer blessing (luck)”, it’s a little harder to say “good blessing (luck) with getting out of the speeding ticket!” Or maybe we should say, “I pray you get out of that speeding ticket.” (again probably not praying, and just what do you think God thinks of us praying for “getting out of a speeding ticket”? …I digress before I get too far gone)

And speaking of blessing…at the dinner table, my dad always prayed, “God bless this food to our bodies’s strength.” And to this day that prayer spins my head…asking God to bless the food. Because that animal or live plant is long gone—blessing it now seems silly. Should have blessed it before.

And really the list just goes on and on. It’s way too hard. So forgive me when I wish you luck. Because honestly I do and my heart means it—and if being a Christian concentrates on matters-of-the-heart, then isn’t my hope and wish of luck like a prayer?

Sigh.

Dang, I’ll never get it all together.

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17 thoughts on “To Curse or Not to Curse

  1. Pingback: To Curse or Not to Curse « Soiled Wings | Nail It To The Cross

  2. GREAT job – juxtaposing the things we aren’t supposed to say with the things we ARE. I WISH people would offer a little more grace to each other. At least, I pray that I won’t be such a b—– about criticizing & judging others. I get so p—ed with myself for not setting a better example.

    Oh, & then how about the words that have come full circle & now mean the direct opposite of what they used to? Like ‘being merry & gay’ – or the cycles that the word “bad!” has gone through & the times when it meant something was really awesome.

    BTW, is there some way that we could incorporate the greeting “Godspeed” in the traffic ticket discussion?

    Thanks again for the bad-ass challenge! Oops; sorry. Forgive my fingers.

  3. Sherry, I loved this. Am I allowed to say love? I pray that you are filled with lucky blessings and that all your wishes come true. I personally think it sucks that you can’t use the word crap and the phrase cheese and whiskers makes me think of a drunken sailor staggering down the street eating cheese wiz from a can.
    Some of my favorites:
    Ending anything with “bless your heart” , shut the front door, get the fat outta here, holy crap, no freakin way and anything preceded by #

  4. Hello Sherry,

    It is my perspective that the feel of the emotional sentiment is far more important than the sounds that accompany it. “A rose by any other name”… and all that.

    🙂

  5. Sherry, I’ve been following your blog EVERY WEEK since before you posted only once a week and I have savored each of your messages. I have commented several times in the past but recently have kept silent in response to some of your heavier posts concerning your trials and struggles not because I haven’ been deeply touched by those posts but because I have too much to say about them and my heart goes out to you. I try to compose a comment that would be appropriate for the internet but end up with messages longer than your original article.( Writing a letter is so much harder for me than consoling or encouraging a friend verbally.)
    But today, reading your particular brand of humor and loving it, I feel light-hearted enough to comment again.
    It is funny how those big, bad, ugly curse words hang out behind what we think is a locked gate but will escape when the going really gets tough. (Like when I burn myself with the hot glue gun, etc.)
    Well, anyway, thanks for the chuckle, especially since it indicates some deeper thinking. Let’s pray for a little more “grace under fire”.

    • Oh Linda… {sigh} thank you on all accounts. Seriously, thank you. Somedays I still want to beat a dead horse (that isn’t dead) – so I was thankful in getting such an odd email with the “I pray your weekend…” tagged on the end. It was the humor medicine I needed. Glad it worked for you too.
      ps: “Grace Under Fire” <— I should start signing all my correspondence this way – excellent.

  6. LOL
    Loved the last line. Loved all of it.
    This has been on my mind lately, but not wanting to succumb to the religious spirit I just throw my hands in the air and wish my boy luck on his tests today. No worries–I prayed for him too. 🙂

  7. OK how about calling people “dog breath” imagine that in your mind, I don’t know about you but my dog’s breath was never the smell of fresh mint. Or how about Suckabootybunwiffer well I let you break down that one. Those are my “Safe” words but if I really get to the heart of the issue I am still meaning something not favorable to another, so does that mean I am going straight to hell in a hand basket? Or just straight with nothing? OH I don’t know all these black & white answers give me a headache, I’ll try & stick with the grace & mercy under fire.
    Thanks for sharing & really getting me thinking about what comes out of my mouth is it just a cover up for what I am really thinking, but because I don’t say it than I am safe?
    I could go on & on but will leave you with that LOL

  8. LOL I fricken love this. It stinks when we over think our words or the words of others. Yes, I have my own “christian” rated replaced words too 😉 thanks for the laugh!

  9. This is quite funny because eventually there’s too many rules to trip over and land flat on your face! 😀 Thank God – sincerely so – that He knows our heart and the context of our expressions when we’re just being real 🙂 Gratefully He can deal with us even if many Christians can’t 😉

    I like what Joyce Meyer says about “Christianese”- how we shouldn’t become fruit loops or pie in the sky – hence others can’t relate to us and we can’t influence them for Christ. She says we should renew our minds, not lose our minds 😀 Oh boy! We make being a Christian so hard, don’t we sometimes? 😦

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