“THE WAY PEOPLE TALK”

Some years ago, a U.S. Cellular commercial used a humorous catch phrase to promote their product:  “The way people talk around here!”

The way we talk reflects the way we think.  Sometimes, with tongue in cheek, and sometimes with surprising seriousness, people change the way they talk – in order to change the way people think about things.

Someone gave a new name to the common spade or shovel.  They dubbed it “a terrain emplacement evacuator.” Short people smile and say they are “vertically challenged.”  The trash collector is a “sanitary engineer.” In some places, teachers are now “facilitators of learning.”

With all the “politically correct” language of our times, one may be excused for wondering what people may be hiding behind such fancy words.  

The Bible speaks of this also, instructing us to “keep the form of sound words.”  Jesus said: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” The words we use on a regular basis reflect the way we think about things – and the repeated use of those words can change the way we think.

A father changes the way his son thinks about his mother and about women in general if he refers to his wife as “the old lady.”  Words mold hearts!

“Fornication” or “sexual immorality” defines something as wrong and sinful.  But “pre-marital” sex has a nicer, clinical ring to it – neither right nor wrong – just pre-marital…like an appetizer before the main course.  The word “adultery” is God’s own moral judgment on unfaithfulness to the marriage vow.  But an extra-marital” fling sounds like a dessert in addition to the main course…just a little extra!

In the 1880’s, the American Medical Association called abortion “wanton and murderous destruction.”  A century later, it became “the interruption of an unwanted pregnancy.” Today it’s “a medical procedure.”  No guilt there! Are opponents of “pro-life” logically called “pro-death” – or at the very least, “pro-abortion?”  Nope. They’re “pro-choice.” CDC statistics from one recent year indicate that 20% of our babies die from “choice.”   “Pornography” is no longer “smut” or “filth” or “obscene.” It is “adult entertainment.” What the Bible calls “perversion” is now “sexual preference” to be celebrated.  “Coming out” is “courageous.” Objecting to this perversion is now “bigotry” and “hate speech.”

Isaiah said:  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness.”  Failure to call sin “sin” is to forget why Christ came, what He came to save us from, and why we so desperately need Him.   If sin is less serious, then Jesus is less precious…and a Savior even becomes unnecessary. The words we use reflect and change the way we think and what we believe.  “The wages of sin is death. But the undeserved gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23  EHV).  Words matter!  Let us watch the way we talk!

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Rev. Roy W. Hefti

About Rev. Roy W. Hefti

Pastor Hefti grew up on the North side of LaCrosse. He is a 1971 graduate of Luther High School. He then attended Northwestern College in Watertown, WI. After graduation, he went on to attend Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI. He graduated the Seminary in 1979 and accepted his first call to start a mission congregation in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. In May 1984, Pastor Hefti received and accepted the call to be the Pastor of St. Paul’s. Pastor, his wife Alice and 3 children moved to Bangor in July of 1984. The Lord blessed the Heftis with 3 more children while living in Bangor. Their 6 children are now grown and are living around the world. In addition to his pastoral duties, Pastor Hefti teaches 7th-8th grade confirmation classes and also teaches a rotating class of “A Touch of Latin” or “A Touch of German” to familiarize the children with a foreign language. Each morning, Pastor conducts a Bible study with the faculty and he also conducts a weekly mission devotion with the whole school.