Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 NIV
I have no proof, but a lifetime of experience has shown me the “f” bomb has become more popular.
As a young boy growing up—and even as a teenager—the f-bomb was considered one of the filthiest words anyone could say. Men didn’t use it in front of women, and society looked sideways at women who used it. Using it in public was a big no-no. Anyone who did received a dirty look from friends and strangers alike—and perhaps a tongue-lashing. But now . . .
Two days after Christmas 2019, my wife and I walked across the Skybridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. As we passed a family who had stopped to take pictures, the father dropped the bad bomb because he thought we should have stayed behind them and waited until they finished.
One day later, my wife and I walked through our local Walmart and encountered two young men walking down an aisle. They conversed with each other—loudly enough for those they passed to hear—and sure enough, one dropped the bomb.
What was once an uncommon word—at least to hear aloud—has now become acceptable. And my jaw dropped when I heard about a local pastor who dropped it one night as he rode as a chaplain with a police officer.
Paul says we shouldn’t let any unwholesome talk come from our mouths, but only what builds others up. Unwholesome includes the f-bomb but also incorporates many other words and attitudes such as bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger—as well as gossip, slander, and off-color jokes.
Our speech reflects what’s on our inside. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). When our speech comes out with dirty words, it shows our insides need attention.
Any words or attitudes that tear down rather than build up need to go. Dropping the f-bomb has become popular in part because others are doing it. Now it has caught on, become acceptable, and is spreading like a wildfire, which demonstrates how our words influence others.
Instead of dropping the bad word bombs—or any other unwholesome attitudes—let’s drop only those words and attitudes that build up and encourage others. When we do, the world will be a more pleasant place.
Prayer: Father, may the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You.
Tweetable: Are you dropping the wrong word bombs?
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