As a child, I was a sweet, precious little angel. Could do no wrong. But I had a secret. A vocabulary that was splattered with four letter words. That was – until my brother heard me one day and snitched to our mother. And after then, after that experience in the third grade … life changed, but the temptations to blurt out uncontrollably didn’t.
Over the next several posts (or so) I will share ten childhood memories
and lessons I glean for today.
If you had heard me, you would’ve gasped. Well, maybe not now with TV shows using every possible word and shock values no longer really existing. But I did cuss.
I was a normal preacher’s kid – if preacher’s kids could be normal. Everything I did was seen by many – and most loved to tell my parents when I went down a path of error and mayhem. We moved a lot, about every four years. Kind of like military kids. And interestingly, many of the places we moved were near military bases. My formative years were spent near Norfolk/Hampton and many of my school-yard friends were children of parents in the military. And I am not sure which specific friend taught me such a vocabulary, but none of them really noticed. I remember these navy brats used the same vocabulary.
Then one day in the third grade, life changed. It was after school, we were playing in the little acreage of woods near Saunders Elementary, and someone got me mad. SO I blurting out quite a rant using flowery verbiage – if the flowers stunk that is, for this verbiage stank of profanity.
And then I saw him – my brother near by. He had heard this childish rant. I can’t remember why or when, but it wasn’t long before the knowledge he gained that day made its way to our mother – who was not pleased. Who was NOT PLEASED.
I vaguely remember soap being inserted onto my tongue and between my teeth. I vaguely remember the punishment I received. But I do strongly remember the look of disappointment.
After that event I don’t talk like that much. I have to control my vocabulary. I have to have discipline. Self-discipline, that’s not something we emphasize enough today. Maybe when we talk about exercise or diet – but not bad habits or actions that are not healthy or helpful. Yes, I occasionally think things when I am tired or angry – all the more reasons to be self-disciplined before these times occur.
May we train ourselves (and our mouth) to be for good for those around us.
I came across this list on several web pages, so I would like to share here.
20 Reasons to watch your mouth – maybe just keep it shut …
- In the heat of anger. Proverbs 14:17
- When you don’t have all the facts Proverbs 18:13
- When you haven’t verified the story. Deuteronomy 17:6
- If your words will offend a weaker brother. 1 Corinthians 8:11
- If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family. 1 Peter 2:21-23
- When you are tempted to joke about sin. Proverbs 14:9
- When you would be ashamed of your words later. Proverbs 8:8
- When your tempted to make light of holy things. Ecclesiastes 5:2
- If your words would convey a wrong impression. Proverbs 17:27
- If the issue is none of your business. Proverbs 14:10
- When you are tempted to tell an outright lie. Proverbs 4:24
- If your words will damage someone’s reputation. Proverbs 16:27
- If your words will destroy a friendship. Proverbs 25:28
- When you are feeling critical. James 3:9
- If you can’t speak without yelling. Proverbs 25:28
- When it is time to listen. Proverbs 13:1
- If you may have to eat your words later. Proverbs 18:21
- If you have already said it more than one time (then it becomes nagging) Proverbs 19:13
- When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person. Proverbs 24:24
- When you are suppose to be working instead. Proverbs 14:23
Or maybe – just remember this ..