I'm Going to Stop Swearing.

On Thursday night, a swear jar was instituted in my household. Today, it has approximately $675 in it. Sam and I will probably be able to fly business class to Costa Rica - on Wednesday.

I’m only kind of kidding.

This summer has been a tough one. Actually, the last two years have been a tough one, and humans are granted only so much willpower per day. When mine is exhausted, say by noon, I’m like a 12-gauge loaded with f-bomb birdshot and the safety off.

Just to be clear, I’m not even shooting people who turn left on a double yellow during rush hour. No, I’m usually alone in my house, or with Sam, firing rounds into the air, hollering over whatever crazy just dropped on Twitter or the 6 o’clock news.

Yah, maybe I need a safety, or maybe we all need to call this situation what it is.

A total _______ ____-show.

See how easy you filled in those blanks? I want my two dollars.

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Here’s the problem with swearing.

I realized, very recently, maybe just three days ago, that what I do in my coaching practice and my writing practice, is help people get out of darkness and into the light. Whatever their dark is, it doesn’t matter, I know where the light is.

The big question is how do I do that?

ANSWER: By knowing Jesus, following his example, constantly learning and walking in a directionally accurate way without hypocrisy or performance. Therefore, since Jesus had PLEEEENTY of reasons to cuss us all out and he never did, neither can I.

As my pastor said so beautifully this morning: My job is to disappear into the beauty that is Jesus, until he is all people see. Even when he is kicking over tables because the lenders are ripping off poor people, he is so beautiful. He’s mesmerizing and compelling, like a view you can’t stop staring at.

But when I’m spouting off, I’m just blocking your view and contributing to the problem he’s trying to solve. No wonder he’s telling me to shut it.

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This morning Pastor Rick had a bouquet of flowers on stage.

In a row of four vases, he placed trash in one, rocks in another, dirt and weeds in the third and a pretty bouquet in the fourth. It’s the parable of the sower that Jesus told.

The message is so simple. Good dirt = Good flowers, but good dirt takes discipline, like not running my mouth just because the world is discouraging. Of course the world is discouraging - Jesus said it would be. That’s why he needs me to stop running my mouth and be the light, so people can be mesmerized by him, not distracted by me.

That’s my job here. Yours too.

It’s not that I won’t stand up and dissent about what’s happening in my country. I will, and you should too, whether we see it all the same or not. It’s more that my defiance needs to be holy and not hell-raising, and if he wouldn’t say it I shouldn’t either.

This is a pretty good grid to force your words through before unleashing them into the world. Want to join me? What would it look like for the next month, if every time you were tempted to say %&$^%# &%#*% you spoke something he says instead? Here’s a helpful link.