If you don’t already know, Bill Maher on a recent episode of his talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher, he used the N-Word referring to himself in a joke. This of course was offensive and inexcusable and Mr. Maher quickly apologized.
The purpose of this post isn’t to discuss his mistake, but to quickly examine how we as Christians prioritize what words offend us.
Years ago, I remember hearing, and reading Richard Pryor say after a trip to Africa, “ I ain’t never gonna call another Black man ni**a”. Now I’m in no way bringing this up to disparage Richard Pryor, but to make a point. He passionately made this statement and changed his behavior.
He stopped using the N-WORD, which offends many people, but continued to use profane and vulgar words that offend God.
Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers
Ephesians 5: 3-4 (NKJV)
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks
There are many words that offend us. Some more than others. Which words offend you, in many cases has much to do with who you are. People CHOOSE to use the words for various reasons.
It’s interesting to me how many Christians are MORE offended by…
- The N-Word
- The Fa-Word
- The Hon-Word
- The Ho-Word
- The B-Word
- The K-Word
- The Sp-Word
- The Ch-Word
…than they are offended by other profane, offensive, vulgar or even blasphemous words that offend God. Some even seem completely comfortable using the GD-WORD.
Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 12..
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
The words that we use and that offend us give great insight into what is in our hearts. Yes, some words are offensive racially, but God expects us to put Him even above our race.
Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Are some words offensive and inexcusable? If course, but think about this…
What’s more important to you? Words that offend you? Or words that offend God?
Let us be careful not to put what offends us above what offends God.