Four letter words used to be words which one did not say.
I am not a prude, but I am nostalgic.
I miss the days of movie dialogue when the F-bomb was not thrown in every sentence and repeated over and over. Frankly, I’m shocked to hear people on their cell phones using more expletives than conversation.
It’s not a question of freedom of speech for me. It comes down to manners, laziness and effectiveness.
Language Reflects Manners, Laziness and Effectiveness
Sometimes I think manners died with Emily Post. Perhaps the rare times people don’t swear is when they are around their bosses, parents, or grandparents. It is a sign of speaking with respect.
Swearing is lazy. Our language is full of colorful words. Someone commented (negatively I might add) on my The Meaning of Be Still Will Surprise You blog post. He said I was using the same old twaddle. I didn’t know what this meant, so I had to look it up. Twaddle means: silly, idle or boring writing. I replied and complimented him on his critique and his concise use of words.
Nonstop swearing eventually loses its effectiveness. My son will tell you, “Wow! Mom is really mad!” When I swear, I get people’s attention. I understand that sometimes it feels good to let a four letter word rip. When you rarely use that language, it has a greater impact.
Has God Become the New Four Letter Word?
But the trend that concerns me most is in the opposite direction. It seems that no one wants to use the word God. God, while only three letters, has become the new four letter word.
Say the word God and people will immediately to be turned off. It’s much more politically correct to use Source, Universe, Divine Presence, (all capitalized by the way) and any number of names other than God.
Granted, God can be a word loaded with meaning that is not always good. It’s the image that most comes to mind of the old white bearded male judge in the sky.
Another reason for people to squirm is religion. Religions have brought people to God and driven people away from God. I write more about this in a free eBook and audio book called Bringing God’s View Into Focus to Live with Joy and Flow.
Evidence that the God Word Still Matters
As shocked as I am to see so many expletives posted on Facebook, I’m encouraged that when people are confronted with a devastating diagnosis, have loved ones who are hurting, or lose precious pets or family members, thoughts and prayers are requested and offered by others. Maybe I am assuming incorrectly, but I am assuming those prayers are going to God.
For now, our country still has In God We Trust on our currency. We say, “One nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
I am encouraged by the spiritual movement that is happening (even if people are not using the word God). People are realizing the mind, body, spirit connection. People are realizing that there is more to life than stressing and striving. There is more to life after this ridiculously short time that our bodies are here on this planet.
God of Relationship not Religion
In all of my years in corporate sales, my goal was to get to the top decision-makers, especially the CEO. They hold the power and control everything that happens.
I believe that God is the creator of all. To use a Bible pronoun, “he”, is the CEO, Chief Everything Officer. God is a relationship based God who wants a relationship with us. God holds the power for us to accomplish anything. I can’t believe that we have access to the creator of the cosmos 24/7. Is that awesome or what? Perhaps if people thought of God in regards to relationship rather than religion, the word God would be used more often.
May you be conscious of your speech. If you have a habit of swearing, try giving it up. Use your brain more and use a Thesaurus for creative alternatives. You have one new word you can use: twaddle. Say that and I’m sure you will get people’s attention. :) You might even be listened to more.
It would constantly amaze me in client meetings. The client would swear then catch himself and apologize to me. It was a sign of respect. Somehow, my speech and presence caused them to be aware of their own words.
If you have an image of God as the great, white bearded, male, scorekeeper in the sky, or any number of unflattering and untrue images, change your thinking. You are missing out on peace, power and purpose in your life. A relationship with God will transform your life.
I’ll finish this up with two versus about the relationship God: Mark 10:27 “With God all things are possible.” And I Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I’m curious if you find any of this to ring true for you, or is it just me? I’d love for you to leave a comment below.
If you want to go further with this religion vs. relationship, I have a free eBook and audio book called Bringing God’s View Into Focus to Live with Joy and Flow.
Jackie TrottmannMarch 3, 2015 10:23 am
Thank you for taking the time to comment and to offer your insights. It’s very rare that there is ever one answer. I appreciate all of the points you make. Lots to think about. Allowing God to speak through us is ultimately how we live our lives with love, non-judgment, humility, peace and kindness.
BevMarch 3, 2015 9:46 am
Well, I have to agree that manners have gone to the wayside. I see this especially with how people drive; many show no consideration for pedestrians, no matter the weather, and sometimes people are in such a hurry they don’t see what’s right in front of them.
Is God a 4 letter word? I’m not sure. My opinion–many of us have grown up with God being used as a means to hit us on top of the head or to frighten us. Many of my “friends” on social pages use God to support a political agenda or point of view, and as a means to put down or judge others as not being God loving because of their views. The God mentioned quite frequently is the God of Religion or the God of Politics and not the God of relationship. Perhaps that is why people who are actually quite spiritual don’t talk “God” publicly….because sometimes the most vocal people give God a bad name. For me God is a God of mystery, but still God. I don’t try to speak for him, but try to listen and hopefully, speak through him!
For me God is a personal relationship and I have personal discussions, but not often “public” ones. One thing that I do see, is that anytime someone requests prayers, many, many people comment that they will pray and it is taken for granted, they are praying to “God.”
Good questions…maybe not one answer?