In the early 60's during my military career I developed the common habit of cursing and swearing. Cusssin' was the accepted method of communication and being surrounded by it every day and night, my mind absorbed the habit with little thought. The old adage that stated a certain person "cusses like a sailor" was and probably still is a very apt description about the sailors I served with. Of course when I was home on leave for a few days I easily reverted to cleaning up my speech around my parents and my country home in Kentucky.
After returning to the states from an extended cruise our ship was docked in Norfolk, Va and nearby on the pier was a small restaurant or as we called it, "the geedunk". One night I was there with some of my shipmates drinking beer and loudly carrying on a lot of total foolishness. I had to go on duty early the next morning so after several hours I left and headed back to the ship. I failed to notice a much older Chief Petty Officer follow me outside. He quickly caught up with me and simply said, "Son can I talk with you a minute?" In my mind I thought "what does this old dude want with me?", but having been taught all my life to respect my 'elders', I stopped and said, "Sure, what can I do for you?" We sat down on a bench and for the next half hour that man opened my eyes to how I appeared to other people. Although I listened respectfully, I quickly dismissed it and went on my way. But two days later the impact of what that good man did for me hit me right between the eyes. From that day I began to work hard to eliminate that form of speech from my heart.
I haven't called on God to 'damn' anything or anyone in a very long time. My speech is no longer dependent on the kind of language that only proves my ignorance. I have had the same conversation with lots of young people and adults over the years. I am convinced that most people are skilled at cussin' because they have developed a lazy habit and overlook how truly ignorant they appear in the eyes of people who have something substantive to say. Children learn very early what is acceptable in the environment they grow up in. So the ignorance of cursing and swearing gets perpetuated.
David wrote: "My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord." Psalm 145:21
That powerful, simple statement is the most effective way I know to eliminate the habit of ignorant speech because it penetrates the heart. Only Jesus can change us from the inside out. I can testify. HALLELUJAH!