Jump Start # 2650
Jeremiah 6:15 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the Lord.”
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in our current culture. I wish it would go away, but I don’t think it will. It’s the use of obscene words. Rioters spray paint these words on the side of buildings. Politicians tweet these words. Sport and Hollywood stars drop these words in interviews. The movies are filled with these words. It’s creeping closer and closer to becoming mainstream. It won’t be much longer when the censors will give up and allow these words to be said on primetime TV.
Words do not pop out of our mouths. They are choices. We may talk so fast that we don’t realize it, but words don’t form themselves in our mouths. Our minds and hearts are what drive those words. People once tried to hide behind the excuse, “That was a slip of the tongue.” Funny, those slips were always bad words, gossip and negative. No one said a compliment and then said, “That was a slip of the tongue.”
Why are so many talking so filthy anymore? Why is it that saying these words doesn’t make them blush?
Our verse today, from the prophet Jeremiah, lists a series of wrong steps that Judah was taking. Dishonesty, greed, misinformation, indifference and arrogance led them to turning their backs on God. They walked away from a standard of right and wrong. Along the way, their conscience stopped working.
It takes a conscience to blush. A conscience that is saturated in the word of God will do a lot of blushing. Words, thoughts, attitudes and even clothing are all brought to check when a heart is set to please the Lord. But when that heart isn’t thinking about the Lord and when that heart is flying freely without any thought or concern, then words will fly, clothing will come off, attitudes will crash and no one can right the course that they are set upon.
There was a time when one in the spotlight, where in the field of sports, music, theatre, film or even politics understood that they had an influence to share with others. Their role was much larger than themselves. They especially wanted to leave a wholesome and good impression upon little ones. But those days are gone. It’s everyone for themselves now. If you don’t like what I do or say, it’s your problem, not mine. That’s the culture of today.
So, how do we get that blush radar working again?
First, we must recognize what is right and what is wrong. Because society repeats certain words over and over does not mean that they are acceptable, good and worthy of saying. Right and wrong is determined by God’s word. The more of the Bible that is in us, the more that we are bothered by wrong behavior. Our conscience must be built upon God’s word and not how things affect us.
Second, our kids hear things from others. They need to know that not everyone chooses the right actions and not everything needs to be repeated. You be the censor at home. Shows with inappropriate language and dress needs to be stopped and changed. When you hear your child saying something wrong, don’t go past Jerusalem in overreacting. Talk to him about those choice of words. Most times little ones do not even know what the words are, other than they are bad words. Anger has a lot to do with this. Teaching your child how to vent constructively and godly is important. Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple but He didn’t get into a fist fight. He didn’t cuss. He didn’t do things which caused Him to apologize later.
Third, surround yourself with those who act and talk the way that God wants them to. Find quality people to fill your life and time with. Often co-workers are like brothers and sisters, we don’t get a vote in picking who they will be. At times, they may be a blessing. But it’s the other times, when they can drag your spirit down. You don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to and you do not have to express your opinion to every thought that people share. Silence can be golden.
Fourth, don’t be ashamed to blush. Don’t apologize for being embarrassed. It’s a sign that your conscience is working. It shows that things bother you and are not right. The bigger problem is when someone is beyond blushing. It is a problem when someone can have a potty mouth and that doesn’t bother them. Or, they can chew someone out and then sleep like a baby. Heartless must be a quality that makes people unable to blush. The Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz was a galvanized strong person. He held that axe up for a long time. But what was missing was a heart. He was empty on the inside. And when a person gets that way, they are unmoved and indifferent to the suffering around them. They simply do not care. But we are different. We have a heart, a different outlook and a different One that we are following.
Learn to be sensitive. Having a godly conscience is the key. It’s ok to blush, and out society certainly gives us plenty of reasons for that.