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Christianese

June 27, 2009

Have you ever noticed that Christians have their own swear words?  It’s true.  We have basically invented a whole new language for Christians who like to swear, but are afraid of getting struck by lightning.  I like to call this phenomenon, Christianese.  Christianese is all about taking your traditional 4-letter words, and putting a “Christian” spin on it.  That way, when you shout out the alternative expletive, you can still feel cool, without that pesky fear of walking under any trees.

This “guilt-free” dialect seems to be particularly popular amongst those in my age group.   I’m talking about the 30-something’s who still can’t decide whether to act cool, or act like grown-ups.  You know who you are.  Anyway, this demographic is especially adept at speaking Christianese.  In fact, we have pretty much cornered the market, so to speak.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

*freakin’ (by far the most popular amongst my peers)

*frickin’ (which is just another variable of freakin’)

*flippin’ (which has the added bonus of sounding even nicer than freakin and frickin’, and therefore more lightning proof)

*crap (although I like my version better. “Crap on a stick” has such a nice ring to it!)

*snap (one of my personal fave’s, and when I’m really in a tizzy, I add crackle and pop)

*P.O’d (because abbreviated Christianese is even cooler than standard Christianese)

*ticked off (again, bonus points for sounding nicer than the “p” version)

and last but not least…

*ass (because it’s in the King James Version of the Bible, and therefore not really a swear word)

But here’s the rub.  As Christian’s, we are called to be imitators of Christ.  Wait a second.  Imitators of Christ?  Ouch.  In the famous words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”  Because in light of that standard, Christianese no longer sounds very “Christian” does it?

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul gives these instructions, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”   I guess this means that shouting at my kids to, “shut the freakin’ door already cuz you’re really tickin’ me off!” isn’t very helpful for building them up or benefitting their little ears.  Sigh…  Will I ever get this parenting thing right?  But I digress.  The point is, are the words I choose to put out there building others up, or tearing them down?  Are they glorifying my Savior, or glorifying my ego?  Because, if I’m honest, I  have to admit that my ego often puts God in the back seat, while I merrily take over the steering wheel.

What my heart really yearns for though, is to please my Savior in everything I do.  Not just “in word or in tongue, but  in deed and in truth.”  To be the woman He created me to be.  The very best version of myself, instead of some carbon copy.  I guess the only question now is, am I willing to let go of that damned steering wheel?

Until next time…

-M

P.S.  Just some F.Y.I., “damned” is in the KJV of the Bible.  I looked it up.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    July 2, 2009 10:55 pm

    Funny! I was just telling my husband that I did not let any of my first grade students say anything that was a substitute for a bad word. They would say, “Tartar Sauce” and “Fudge” and others (mostly from watching bad cable cartoons). I told them the only thing they could say was , MMMMM.

    But I did get in trouble my first year teaching. I spilled something and said, Oh CRAP! and the kids said, Mrs. Holman! You said the C word!! OOOPS :)

    thanks for the reminder of what Paul reminds us to do.

    (Jill’s friend… Susan)

    • michellenotwithstanding permalink*
      July 2, 2009 11:39 pm

      Hi Susan! Thanks so much for dropping by and visiting my blog. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I drop the “C-Bomb” on a fairly regular basis, and my kids never cease to let me know they heard it! LOL! All I can say is, “thank goodness HE isn’t finished with me yet.” I hope you’ll come and visit me again. And btw, I am SO totally willing to trade my cobbler for gardening tips! ;) Take care, -M

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