June 4 - Psalm 34:14

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it”

That sounds like it should be easy, but it’s not, is it!

I moved to a new community in the summer between my sixth grade year and junior high.  While I had a wonderful childhood, being accepted by the girls in my class wasn't part of that wonder.  My class had 23 students in it and even though I arrived there prior to my second grade year, the cliques had been established and as the new girl, a bright child and the minister’s daughter in that small town, I wasn't about to be part of the popular group.

For some reason, my little mind identified cursing and swearing as something that the popular kids chose to do and that summer I learned how to use every single one of those words so that I would be prepared to be as crass and vulgar as any boy, thus ensuring my popularity.

Looking back on that choice, it has been one of the most difficult things I've ever attempted to overcome in my life. During those next two years in junior high, I became quite adept at using foul language with my peers and avoiding it when I was at home or around teachers.

Except one time in high school, when I stumbled off the stage after playing in pep band and cursed as I tried to catch myself.  The one man in that high school who scared me to death and whom I did my best to avoid, our wrestling coach and a really good man, heard me, turned on me and corrected me.  You would have thought that as mortified as I was by that correction, I would finally have been able to stop using that language, but I couldn't. It was too deeply ingrained in me.

The other most awful and embarrassing moment was many years later in a parking lot in Omaha. Again, I stumbled out of my car, dropping everything out of my purse onto the ground. I let loose with a foul word and when I stood up and saw two parents walking past me with their young children, I felt horrible.

It has taken a lot of years for me to have any control over what comes out of my mouth. Those words don’t encourage peace. They may not be considered evil by all, but they have done me no good. I do not profess, by any means to have rid myself completely of that language. Sometimes it simply fits the situation, but I don’t want it to ever control me.

What is the evil in your life that you have to turn away from?