IS GARBAGE THE SAME AS TRASH? I will leave you to ponder that great question. Some would make a distinction. Where I live the garbage/trash men arrive twice a week to empty my trash can and pick up other discarded items within reason. And on Thursday another truck comes by and picks up items to recycle. Are the recycle guys specialists in the trash business or do you separate the two into separate professions? Such are the great questions of life. Some say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and I believe that to a certain extent after watching TV’s “American Pickers” and seeing the proliferation of “yard sales” and “garage sales” and “flea markets.” And today we also have what is called “trash talking” which seems to be a specialty of athletes and I am afraid many Christians have entered this realm as well. The vocabulary of Christians, it seems to me, has been in a downward spiral for several generations now. Christians appear to use words today in their speech that would have shocked me if they had been used when I first became a Christian. Am I just an over sensitive Marine veteran Christian who has heard the worst of language in his life-time and believes that the Christian vocabulary should be different? Or has God changed His view on the use of language as opposed to His directions in the Bible.
The Bible has a lot to say about our vocabulary and how we should use it and “trash talking” does not appear in the index of the Christian’s vocabulary. In fact I believe a lot of the words Christians use today would not appear in God’s approved index of God’s vocabulary. The Bible says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,” (Colossians 4:6 NIV). Professed Christian politicians would be well to abide by this principle along with those who make politics a part of their daily life and TV viewing. As God’s Word says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen, (Ephesians 4:29 NIV). Our American culture appears to have changed concerning what is acceptable language in the Christian community. I don’t believe God has made that shift yet. God’s Word abides to remind us, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord my Rock and my Redeemer,” (Psalm 19:14 NIV). Maybe when the trash man passes by our house this week we need to evaluate our language use and put some things out for him to pick up. After all, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprove to a listening ear,” (Proverbs 25:11-12 ESV). God’s speech beats “trash talk” any day. Christians do not need to use vulgar words in any context. God does hold us to a higher standard in Christ.