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Boorish behavior and careless words


Ramsey jumps up and yells, “Oh come on! It’s a hold!” as he gyrates obnoxiously before a big-screen TV during a football game. His buddies stare dumbfounded and a frightened dog hides under the couch as Ramsey, acting like a 2-year-old, throws a bowl of Cheetos all over the room.

“I hate watching with Ramsey, all he does is yell,” his host laments.

This beer commercial would be good if it stopped right there, but Ramsey’s friend continues, “But every time he’s come over this year, we’ve won.”

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The message is clear: Boorish behavior and obnoxious speech is OK if it works. It should be encouraged. “Slouching toward Gomorrah” continues on unabated.

Biblical instructions on tongue/self control stand in sharp contrast and evoke these four observations:

  1. How easy it is to be influenced and absorbed by the culture. The commercial is funny. The music, speaker, script, and set capture the viewer and lead him skillfully to the desired message: “Winning and beer are all that count.” The inference is also clear: The end justifies the means. But Jesus prayed for His disciples that they would not be absorbed into the world, but protected from the influence of the evil therein (John 17:15-18).
  2. How easy it is to speak without thinking of the effect our words have on others. Words can and do hurt despite the adage of “sticks and stones.” They not only hurt but the hurt also lasts, may fester, and will sometimes explode. What a marked difference is God’s Word. Proverbs tells us, “Every word of God proves true.” Jesus warns us, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
  3. How easy it is to behave in shameful ways that may be copied by others. Our sons and daughters act as we have acted and replicate the very things we abhor the most. Jesus tells us, “[W]hoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
  4. How easily Hollywood makes sinful, boorish behavior look fun, harmless, funny, and absent consequences. Comedians parody drunks, yet no wife ever laughed as her husband staggered into the fine crystal and vomited on her Persian rug. Adultery, called simply an “affair” or “fling,” seems attractive, even heavenly on the big screen, but no spouse betrayed by such evil has ever soared on clouds of white, but rather sunk to depths of abandonment. Deceit is a powerful weapon in the cause of sin.

The New Testament warns us throughout: “Don’t be deceived” by such charades. Let us take heed that “the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing” does not ensnare us.

Bill Newton
Bill Newton

Bill is a pastor based in Asheville, N.C. He also serves as a member of God's World Publications' board of directors.


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