B. J. Copeland writes: "I am a retired school teacher. I now reside in Northern Indiana and read my Bible."
Never take up a task which you don’t intend to finish.
How hard could it be to read one small book? That was my reasoning when I began to read. I had lots of excuses every other day though—Grandkids, kids, Christmas, birthdays, and how about those romantic dinners out and what about that trip to Europe! Excuses that turned into never reading my book.
After moving away to Indiana from Louisiana and missing the summers with my grandkids, the two sweethearts came to visit me in Indiana. Now, you really don’t want to ruin grandma-grandkid relationships. But, the first thing that came out of my ten-year-old granddaughter’s mouth upon seeing me again was, “OH-GOD. Oh God!!!”
Our summer’s together had always included Bible School; sometimes two Vacation Bible Schools and so I was taken aback by the verbage. “Susie, honey you don’t want to call God’s name unless you are talking to him. That’s like calling wolf. If you use his name too much, he may not listen when you really call on him.”
The silence was most deafening and I didn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling about myself either. My mind wandered to when my father-in-law would use “Dadgumit”. Or the time I accosted my teenage daughter for using,” Freaking”. Oh, I remember that one like it was yesterday. I asked her what that word really meant and she said it meant cool. When I explained to her that it stood for the four letter word f--- , the fight ensued. “No it does not!!!” she stood her ground. But I never heard her use that word again, so, God must have intervened on my behalf. THANK YOU.
Turning to reading the good book is often what I do if I don’t understand something or oft-times when I am in an ugly mood or when it is just plain icky outside in the winter in Northern Indiana . So, after my “Oh God” experience with Suzy, I began the reading of my book again. I didn’t find the word “frak” used in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica Series, no frell (a combination of f--- and hell), no my gosh, by george, no darn, or gee, and no shoot here either. But lots of warnings Peter 3:10 says, ”For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.”
Our speech is the outward appearance of what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45). When we are saved, our speech has a new nature from God (2 Corinthians 5:17) and our hearts are changed as we become more and more like God.
I wondered if maybe I had chided Susie too harshly on calling her out for using “Oh God”, but God’s Bible does speak out to all of us about calling out his name. Here, we have the warning from the book of Matthew (Matthew 12:36-37), “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
So, my research on fraks, freakin’, and Oh God has finally gotten me to the book of Revelation. I should have begun my research here years ago; no one ever told me to read the Bible backwards—please do, it’s a great idea. How better to scare yourself into being good than to read about the dead rising. Here the sun, moon and stars are almost obliterated. People hides in caves, mountains fall into the sea, locusts from the bottomless pit sting people who survive, an angel stands with one foot on a mountain and one foot in the sea, a great star named Wormwood falls from heaven and poisons the water. You won’t need a lump of coal to keep you and your language good at Christmas time or any other time.
(© 2016 B. J. Copeland – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)