January 31, 2009
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a person. Matthew 15:11
A number of times in the last year I've found myself on the edge of a conversation between generations.
The older generation says, "Things are getting worse." The younger generation maintains, "Things have pretty much stayed the same. Times only seem worse because communication has become so effective we hear about problems faster and more often."
As I say, I wasn't involved in those discussions, because I didn't have an opinion. I do now.
Recently, I read an article, which spoke of the problems they had in making the classic 1946 Christmas movie, "It's A Wonderful Life." You know, the one with Jimmy Stewart where he wishes he had never been born.
Apparently, that movie ran into difficulties with the censors. Indeed, they were asked to remove certain words from that film before it could be made.
And what were the offensive words?
Pretty strong stuff. On the list were words like jerk and lousy.
Unless I miss my guess, both of those words, and most of the others that were banned from that movie would have absolutely no problem getting on children's Saturday morning television today.
Now, I know vocabulary isn't a perfect barometer to judge all of society. Still, it is a barometer that is relatively easy for us to control... at least in our lives. With the world at large getting stronger in what it says, and harsher in the way it says it, we Christians have an opportunity to watch our tongues.
In doing so, we may not be able to change the world, but it might be a good change for some of us. It most certainly would be an opportunity for us to witness to the Savior Who gave Himself so we might be forgiven and have life eternal.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I resolve to glorify You by always seeking and following Your will for my life. Give me the strength and wisdom to do this, so that Your love and grace will be shown to others through me. In Your Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries