Get High On Life: Swearing is a character defect

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 10, 2002


Last weekend, I was asked to speak at a picnic gathering of recovering drug addicts and members of their families. The function was held at the Fontainebleau State Park in St. Tammany Parish. My talk started at 1 p.m. on a very hot day. We were under a shelter, but believe me, it was hot!

My topic was: Is there life after sobriety? I stressed that to stop abusing alcohol or illegal drugs is just the beginning. I warned them that if they didn’t, they would be more miserable than before. I told them that if they wanted the good life, full of love, joy and peace, they had to work at it.

The meeting went well and, as usual, toward the ending, I tried to get the audience to interact. I zeroed in on one man sitting in the front. He was a healthy specimen of a man – about 6-2, maybe 200 pounds, and wearing a muscle shirt. I asked him a question and he answered politely, but used a couple of vulgar words. I immediately rebuked him and told him that using profanity to express himself showed lack of respect for himself and the people in attendance, especially the ladies. “It’s also a sign of ignorance,” I added, “It indicates that you can’t express yourself very well.” I know that I surprised most of the people. “I hope you take what I said in the way it was intended,” I said to the young man.

After the meeting, he approached me and we talked for 10 minutes. “Did you get mad?” I asked. “No,” he said, “but that’s the way I always talk.” “Well, it’s time to change that character defect,” I said. “You don’t understand!” he said. But before he could finish his statement, I said, “Yes, I do. I had a filthy mouth until I was rebuked years ago.” I then showed him what the Bible says about cursing – “A mouth that confesses God should not curse man.”

We finished our talk and he left, but came back in a few minutes and gave me a card, which read as follows:

Broken Dreams

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.

At last, I snatched them back and cried,
“How can You be so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.

Complete surrender is a must if we want God to handle our character defects. Just let go and let God.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at (985) 652-8477.