Is It Ok to Curse Around the Pastor?

January 16, 2012

A few years ago I was coaching my son Matthew in baseball and another player’s dad, Keith, began helping with the team.  We became friends and he invited me to go deep sea fishing with him.   I loved fishing in the ocean and said “YES” very quickly.

Keith was an un-churched guy and the friends that he invited were also not Christ-followers.  We met at 3:00 a.m. to begin our journey to slay as many Red Snapper and Grouper that we could that day.  Keith’s two friends and I jumped in his car and took off for the ocean.

It wasn’t long before it was obvious that my buddy had forgotten to tell his friends that there was a pastor in the car.  (Something that I found extremely hilarious, yet not even necessary.)

Everything that anyone said, these two guys laughed histerically and said all kinds of words that you’ll never hear unless you’re around a bunch of drunken sailors.  They weren’t just the standard 4 letter variety.  The language was very creative and rapid fire through the laughter, every couple of minutes.

I could tell that Keith had begun sweating as he drove.  He had invited his new friend, the pastor, and hadn’t thought of warning his friends.  I didn’t have much of a problem with it but I could tell that Keith was dying up front out of embarrassment.

Sometimes believers have expectations of everyone, including those who are far from God.  They get irritated if everyone they come in contact with doesn’t act like a Christian.   This pastor does have a problem with someone who calls themselves a mature follower of Jesus if they spew cursing and gossip constantly without remorse.   (James 3:10)  Those who have never claimed to walk closely with Jesus and new believers, however, get alot of grace from me.  The heart is what needs changing.  That’s the core problem.  The language is just the symptom.  If they get to know Jesus, nothing usually has to be said.  Jesus does the changing from the inside out.

As Keith kept sweating up front, I could tell that he was trying to figure out how to get them to stop cursing as much.  Finally, Keith said very loudly through their laughter, “Hey Eddie! I WANT TO COME TO YOUR CHURCH THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE PREACHING AT YOUR CHURCH BECAUSE THE NEXT TIME YOU PREACHING AT YOUR CHURCH, I WANT TO COME AND HEAR YOU PREACH…..  AT YOUR CHURCH!”

When he finished saying that, the two hyenas stopped in their tracks.  I wish I had a picture of their faces.  It was one of the most hilarious things that I’ve ever experienced.  It was like their momma caught them stealing from the cookie jar and they were naked during the theft.  They turned and looked at me in horror.  Funny stuff!

Jesus was a friend of sinners and Christ followers should be too.  Those who claim to follow Jesus should be intentional about making relationships with those who are far from God. (Matthew 9:10-12) That’s hard to do that from a holy huddle.  You sometimes have to step out of your comfort zone.  It takes being interested, really interested in the lives of others.

Caring for people means more than getting another notch on your Bible.  People know if you really love and accept them as they are.  We’re called to love people with no strings attached  and people can tell the difference.

In the case of my friend Keith, after many conversations, fishing trips, and baseball games, he rededicated his life to Christ, began coming to church, and was baptized.   He also began to warn his friends whenever I came over to hang out.  Lol  Something I wish he didn’t do!

Do you think it’s important to invest in people’s lives who aren’t part of the church crowd?  Is it ok to curse everywhere except around the pastor?  lol


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