Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, July 11, 2016

Preventing Soul Erosion

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. -- Proverbs 16:24

I am short on time today – although, I suppose, this day has twenty-four hours, too. 

I note that, if the proverb is true, it might follow that ungracious words could make us sick in soul and body.  One could conclude that a lack of courtesy, politeness, etiquette, and decent manners have contributed greatly to the current diseased state of our social structure and culture.  Vulgarity, rudeness, scorn, mockery, and snark pass for humor.  Snide, semi-clever put-downs are considered intelligent discourse. 

Robert Heinlein said that an armed society is a polite society.  Even in my youth, it was still the custom that a rude or offensive remark could be answered with a fist.  These days the vulgar are protected from retribution and are free to say anything to anyone anywhere.

I have no particular objection to certain strains of rough or picturesque language, but there ought to be a reason for it, and the speaker should consider his audience.  The words spoken to a contentious or sullen bovine in the barnyard are not appropriate in the company of Christians at the meetinghouse. 

I am reminded of something the Staple Singers said back in 1971:

Oh, you cuss around womenfolk, and you don’t even know their names,
Then you’re dumb enough to think that’ll make you a big ol’ man.
Maybe it is time for us to grow up.

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