Why do I not cuss at work? My coworkers circled the breakroom talking about it. I honestly don’t remember what I said in response, but I was probably doing the creepy bobblehead.
I generally have my spiritual conversations (or at least the most compelling points in them) in retrospect in my head. So here’s what I wish I had said.
No, I don’t generally cuss at work. But mostly because it’s in the code of business conduct that I signed. It’s bad for business.
There are times when a well-placed cuss word is pretty evangelistic–it forces the hearer to reevaluate their take on Christianity (lots of folks mistake Christianity to be a list of rules, so “breaking” one of them is a great way to dislodge that myth). But a steady diet of profanity (even under the guise of evangelistic profanity–I cuss so that they don’t think I’m a legalist, or so that they investigate the claims of Christ without the trappings of moralism and religion) is an indicator of a moral deficiency. A friend’s pastor recently said “profanity is a cheap and flimsy prop for weak and wanting character.”
Perhaps worse is the fact that cuss words require no creativity. It’s the shortcut to (what used to be) shock value.
Cuss words are like verbal pornography: a cheap way to get a false and short-lived high. Fear and insecurity masquerading as passion and emotion. The 13 year-old with a painted-on beard.
The thing I don’t want my coworkers to miss? The gospel. The truth that Jesus takes broken people (cussing or not) and makes us whole. Perhaps I should have an unedited conversation with them. And I might even cuss, if I’m off the clock.