A: You're right about one thing: what used to be called "bad language" (or even "blasphemy") has become so common today that many don't even think about it. ("Blasphemy" is usually defined as any use of the name of God or Jesus in a disrespectful or insulting way.)
But does this make it right in God's eyes? No, it doesn't — and the reason is because it reveals exactly what we think about God. You're right: Most people don't even think about it when they use God's name in a casual way; you're apparently one of them. But that's the problem: God isn't important to you, and your language reflects this. Would you speak about someone you love (such as your wife) in this way? No, of course not. One of the Ten Commandments states, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God" (Exodus 20:7).
I pray you won't only clean up your language, but that you'll also face honestly your need of God. You need His forgiveness, wisdom and help every day. More than that, you need His salvation, for some day you will face Him, and ahead of you will be eternity — either in heaven's joy forever, or in that place of absolute despair the Bible calls hell.
Make a new start today by committing yourself to Jesus Christ. Then make Him the center of your life — and your family.
Q: I don’t know what her problem is, but my oldest sister (who’s almost 70 now) has hardly ever had a good word to say about anyone. What makes some people so critical? My other sisters aren’t like this. — Mrs. L.V.
A: It’s unfortunate that no one apparently tried to help your sister deal with this problem when she was growing up. As time passes, we often become more and more set in our ways — and it becomes harder and harder for us to change. But God still can change her — and I hope you’ll be praying for this to happen.
On the surface, your sister may appear happy — but in my experience, people who are negative and critical toward others usually aren’t very happy at all. One reason is because no one wants to be their friend, for fear they too will be criticized and cut down. A highly critical person also has a hard time loving others and accepting them just as they are. The Bible says that true love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Why is your sister this way? I don’t know all the reasons, but I do know that people like this often tear others down in order to build themselves up. In other words, it’s their attempt to convince themselves (and others) that they must be better than anyone else. But this is doomed to failure, and only shows how insecure they are.
Pray for your sister, that she will discover the greatest truth anyone can ever discover — that God loves her, and wants to be her friend. Then ask God to give you an opportunity to confront her — lovingly but clearly — about her attitude toward others. In addition, let her know you still love her in spite of her negative attitude — and so does Jesus Christ.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.