I was at the gym earlier this week and I overheard a conversation that had me hanging my head.
I’ll paint you a picture.
Two young boys were working out beside of me and talking loud enough that eavesdropping wasn’t necessary. I noticed them because I recognized one as being a talented athlete from a local high school. I was thinking, “how nice to see some kids are motivated to continue to push themselves during their offseason.” Then they opened their mouths. I was so disappointed to hear such ugly words coming out of their handsome faces.
These guys are obviously gifted in their sport of choice. They were good looking kids, (side note: if you are under the age of 25, you are a kid to me so this is not a reference to a small child.) Knowing what I do of the one, I am certain that younger athletes look up to him. That’s why I was hanging my head.
My kids are younger athletes who spend considerable amounts of practice & conditioning time with guys just like these two. I can safely say that this is not the kind of example I had hoped my kids would see from upper classmen.
Granted, there are some older kids that have been phenomenal at setting a shining example for the younger generation and for them I am so very thankful. I can only pray that my kids will be pulled to them and not the aforementioned group.
What I don’t understand is why they felt the need to talk that way in the first place. It was an everyday conversation they were having, about nothing of real significance, and yet they couldn’t communicate without dropping the “f-bomb every other word. It used to be that swear words were reserved for when you were highly emotional, aggravated or so angered over something that “normal” words couldn’t effectively convey your feelings.
I can’t really say why this bothered me as much as it did other than seeing just one more way that kids are growing more and more desensitized to things that used to be frowned upon in our society.
For those who may think I am overreacting, “their just kids being kids,” allow me to point out one very important Scripture.
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make someone ‘unclean.’ Evil thoughts come out of a person’s heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others. Those are the things that make you ‘unclean.’” (Matt 15:18-20 NIRV)
There is way too much careless speech being tossed around. People of all ages no longer take the time to process their thoughts before opening their mouths. There is a reason why the Bible warns us of the power of the tongue. Words can be an encouragement to the hearer or they can bring devastation. We need to get back to the practice of giving careful thought to the words we allow to pass our lips. May I exhort you to lead by example today? Speak life, refrain from useless words that add nothing to the conversation and prove that you can adequately express your emotions without cursing like sailor…as my maw-maw used to say!