(Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column don’t necessarily reflect those of the Merritt Herald and its staff. The Herald welcomes qualified writers with views on this or other faiths to submit their work to [email protected], to be considered for publication.)

King Solomon, with his God-bestowed wisdom, made a sage and sanguine statement in the old book known as Proverbs in the Old Testament:

“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”

I once overheard some kids talking about something they did not like: “That (blanks),” they said, using a term made popular by a couple of raunchy late-night TV cartoon characters, a term once considered filthy enough to get kids kicked out of school for uttering.

Sadly, bad language and time-wasting occupations seem to be epidemic in our world.

So, what’s the big deal? Does it really matter, anyway?

Don’t we have more important things to consider than a few naughty and choice words? In reality, I suppose we could just go along with it.

We could allow the screenplay writers, sitcom stars, and others to colour our language with gutter talk.

Hours spent playing video and computer games by younger folks do not help in cultivating knowledge and skills to master good disciplines of private and public speaking.

The great American preacher of the 1700s, Jonathan Edwards, entered Yale University at age 13, graduated at age 17, and began preaching God’s good words before age 20.

William Pitt the Younger entered Cambridge University at age 14 and was a Member of Parliament by age 20, where his unmatched oratory propelled him to the office of prime minister of England at age 24.

It is true that we could probably accomplish a lot more if we would control our tongues and use language for meaningful purposes and not be absorbed in meaningless activities.

Certainly everyone needs some time each day to unwind with conversations and activities that don’t take a lot of brainpower.

But, many have made gutter words and other distractions their virtual obsessions.

We could just get over it and stop trying to hold back the tidal wave of vulgar language. After all, they’re just words. except for one little thing – God’s Word.

We’d have to drop some of God’s teaching from the Bible.

We’d have to ignore verses like these: “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret” (Ephesians 5:4).

“Keep your tongue from evil” (Psalm 34:13).

“Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:10).

“You must rid yourselves of…filthy language” (Colossians 3:8).

We may not always be able to avoid hearing bad language or taking part in time-wasting frivolous activities. But if we understand that filthy language dishonours God, we’ll begin to see how important it is that we keep our own words clean.

We will avoid letting ourselves become so conditioned that bad words don’t bother us anymore.

The psalmist David declared that mankind has been made only a “little lower” than God (Psalm 8).

Humans are the vice-regents of God, rulers under God, with noble tasks to do for Him.

We all have capacity, as people made in God’s image, to use our creativity and skill to accomplish great things.

So, while we are dawdling away our time speaking colourful words or indulging in meaningless activities, Satan is at his job of subverting God’s work and plan.

Not only are we accomplishing nothing, but we’re permitting the Lord’s enemy to do his dastardly deeds.

Narayan Mitra is the Pastor of Merritt Baptist Church at 2499 Coutlee Avenue, Merritt, BC. [email protected].