Thursday, February 3, 2011

Confession: My "Maritime" Tendencies

Therefore, put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls. James 1:21
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:4
All of my friends already know this, but just so we're all on the same page:

I say "That's what she said,"
(quite a bit, actually)

The funny thing is, I don't even like The Office. Yeah, I have "moral objections" to it (#hypocrite, #wrongsocialmedium)

The thing is, it's just so darn funny! Usually it's halfway out of my mouth before I even think.

(Parenthetically, that's never a good thing.)

The humbug in me wants to say something crusty, like how God is a kill-joy. (Then the rest of me laughs at my use of the word "kill-joy")

But see, I know God loves laughter.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy... Psalm 126:2
So that excuse doesn't work, plus there are plenty of incredibly funny people in the Christian realm who manage to rise above crudeness (like that Chic-Fil-A guy).

But, even if I convince myself that God has grace to cover my stolen dirty-joke laughter, I don't even try to stop it. And that's not the only thing. Oh no, that's just the slightly-naughty-yet-socially-acceptable tip of the iceberg. Here are a few more for you:
  1. I make many other tasteless jokes.
  2. I curse. Maybe not like a sailor, but...
  3. I watch things I ought not watch.
  4. I've read things I ought not read.
  5. I listen to that dirty rap music.
  6. I've pulled others into it as well.
  7. Even if I don't use it, I know what that word (or phrase) means. And if I don't, I'll google it.
  8. At one point or the other, I've been proud of these things.
Now, to be clear, I think that, too often, "prudence" is really pretension. Honesty and and truth are sometimes messy and uncomfortable, but they are absolutely vital to our spiritual health. It's important that we can be real with each other and there are times when humor makes that process easier.

But I can be as "real" as I want, but the dirty truth here is that crude joking for it's own sake is simply out of place in the mouth of a Christian. Try as I might to walk in the liberty of God's grace, I just can't find a "but it's funny" loophole here. God isn't a (*giggle*) kill-joy and He is very real, but He's also very serious about His kids loving each other with their words. I may be able to say that my use of Mr. Scott's trademark phrase might "be okay" but it's never edifying. It doesn't shine the light of God on people. It usually brings them down to a lower place.

That's serious business, friends.

I want my words to warm people. I want them to feel loved and accepted. I want them to be lifted up and shown the rich goodness that God has for them. I don't want them to be thinking about how witty, albeit inappropriate my humor is.

I suppose that since I've gone public now, I actually have to do something about it, huh?


I guess I'll hafta get one of those naughty word piggy banks or something...

--Sarah Elizabeth

P.S. Seriously, check out that Chic-Fil-A guy out, he's onto something.


  1. Now, why ya gotta go get all "conviction" on me? ;)

  2. Haha! I know, that's what *I* keep saying!