Is it just me or have you noticed the great proliferation of garbage lately? No, I’m not talking about the trash and trash bags scattered carelessly or purposely on our highways. I’m talking about the verbal and written garbage that is constantly attacking our senses and sensibilities all the time.
There was a time, and I think it was in the not-so-distant past, that gutter language was universally frowned up. Such verbal garbage was rare and seen to come from ignorance and debased minds. Cursing, vulgarities, taking God’s name in vain, and the like were not used in public, never in front of children and never from the mouths of, or in front of “ladies.” But today we find such junk everywhere we go.
A video this week detailed a filth-laden tirade by a new member of Congress.
She was attacking a political opponent (personal note: why should there be political opponents? Why aren’t we all Americans? If/When the “ship of state” sinks, all will drown, Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Liberals) and her flimsy excuse was that the opponent used bad language and that gave her the right to do so.
A colleague came to her defense and proclaimed the right of women in this age to be able to use such verbal garbage as well as men.
If this is “liberation” for our females, God help us.
When I was younger, we dealt with such garbage simply on our playgrounds. If you verbally attack me, I could come back with “I’m Teflon, you’re glue; bounce off me and stick to you.”
Or even “Twinkle, twinkle little star; what you say is what you are.”
These little infantile truisms proclaim that in attacking me, you have lowered yourself below me and are now worse that I am.
This is indeed the situation in Washington and all over our nation today.
Little minds, unthinkingly attacking others, denigrate themselves into a lower form of action. This doesn’t make you “bigger” than your opponent; it makes you “smaller,” more debased.
There was a time when television, print media and so on were safe for all members of the family. Then garbage began to creep in and we knew we could just turn off that program, block that channel or not obtain that media.
Such is not the case today. Foul language is prevalent, not only on many television programs and even advertisements, in songs, books, the internet, Facebook, signs and visual advertisements, clothing, bumper stickers and license plates and so on. And it has become all too normal in school and college classrooms.
If educators find this acceptable, God help our schools and colleges.
This type of filth is not necessary. It does not enhance conversation. It does not make what you say truer or more important. It doesn’t make you more macho or feminine. It isn’t cute or cool. It is crude and unacceptable. And it simply lowers you into the cesspool.
While we are free to speak how we want in our homes, to dress how we want in our homes, to watch and read what we want in our homes, why must the entire world be subjected to such septic tank filth? This is not freedom of speech.
What’s the root cause of this arrogance and ignorance? Once again, we go to the Bible to find the answer: The writer of Proverbs, in chapter 23 tells us, “As a person thinks in his heart, so is he…the morsel you have eaten you will vomit up.”
What we put into our minds and our hearts is what we will become. The old computer phrase, “garbage in, garbage out” is true in humans too.
We may hide it for a while, but what’s really in our hearts will eventually erupt and spew out, good or bad.
Matthew and Luke both quote our Lord Jesus Christ on this: “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 4:45)
Got that. Listen to someone; listen well and listen for a while. Eventually you will see what he or she really is inside, in the depths of his/her heart. Our speech gives away our reality.
And what is the solution for this filth and pollution? Paul shares this with the Philippian church: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
So, is there an action plan you and I can take for ourselves so that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem? Of course, and again we go to the Bible: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Translation: if you can’t say something good and uplifting, no matter what someone else has said about you, keep your mouth shut).
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another; even as God in Christ forgave you!” (Ephesians 4:29, 30-31).
Amen. Let’s clean up the garbage.