October 10-11/Weekend Extra

Written by Bill Grandi on October 12th, 2019

I was in Ohio the past couple of days and didn’t take my computer so I am using my journal entry from Thursday morning to be my entry for this weekend.

My title for this devotion is Holy Speech vs Vulgar Speech.

I’ve been hit two ways this morning. First, in my Scripture reading from Proverbs 10: 11 & 19- “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life…When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

Then as I sat waiting for Jo while she was taking care of some things, I was listening to my Spotify playlist and “Only a Holy God” by CityAlight came on.

I know I’m from the older generation (you know how it pains me to say that?  🙂 ), especially as a pastor, so what I’m thinking comes from that perspective. I have noticed some common characteristics of the younger generation of pastors. They seem to be a generation (and I am making a general statement here) that loves their beer (especially); loves their cigars or pipes; and loves to use salty language. Not all but many. There was some of that in my generation, to be sure, but it seems more acceptable and widespread today. I’m not judging someone who wants to down a beer or two or smoke a cigar or pipe (I have done neither), but I’m more concerned about the words that flow from the mouth, sometimes indiscriminately. I  keep thinking of James’ words in chapter 3: “Can blessing and cursing come from the same mouth? My brothers these things should not be.” I’m not young and Many younger pastors seem to be taking the freedom in Christ and His grace a little too lightly. In my mind and heart, vulgarity has no place in the pulpit or even in everyday language. And even though it is not considered vulgar or blasphemous, I cringe every  time I hear the word “sucks” or “screwed” in conversation, let alone from the pulpit. Call me old-fashioned, but I do believe godly speech is or ought to be one of the hallmarks of a man of God. I reiterate: I’m referring to a pastor or someone who feels God’s calling on his life.

And lest it be perceived I’m only shouting at those who cuss or swear, how about those of us who gossip? Or belittle? Or those who shade our words with sexual innuendo? Or criticize? Or (fill in the blank)? And so yes, I’m including myself. My speech in total reflects my heart and who controls it.

“Father, may my speech be that which builds up and encourages rather than tear down. May it glorify You in all ways and in all things. As the song says and Ecclesiastes 5:2 repeats: “Let my words be few.” All for You and for Your glory.”

Here is the CityAlight song that got to me.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Crystal says:

    Ok, have to chuckle cause maybe I am from the “older generation” as well if what comes out of the mouth and life matter?? Guess I feel like its more than just the pastor or someone in spiritual leadership who needs to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit, and that I need to constantly allow the Holy Spirit to refine and purify my life so that my words and life reflect Jesus. I don’t for a second believe that a pastor is held to a different standard in God’s kingdom than a person who “scrubs toilets” 🌞

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think we are held accountable but James 3 does say teachers are held accountable for what they say. That being said, I don’t think I am any higher on the “food chain” than the toilet bowl cleaner. 🙂 Thanks for the comment Crystal.

  2. Our tongues can serve us admirably when we allow Jesus to control them. Personally, I cringe at vulgar language now, but back when I was young, before I knew the Lord, I thought it was really “cool” to use indiscriminate words. Not any more!
    Praying for you, Bill, and blessings!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I also cringe now Martha but cringe even more when I remember how I used to talk. It was ugly. Thanks for coming by.

  3. floyd says:

    I’m with you. Hearing any of those kinds of words from a pulpit and from a person of God goes against my spirit.

  4. Ed says:

    I don’t really like vulgar speech myself, either hearing it or spouting it. It makes me cringe actually. (There’s a reason I talk very little in the presence of people).
    As a co-worker once explained it to me, someone’s speech isn’t necessarily vulgar it’s just the surrounding they have been brought up in. (Yeah, like that’s an excuse.)

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I totally disagree with your co-worker Ed. That sounds like an excuse waiting to be used.