We Have a Code 10! Sanitizing Our Language

There are some things you just don’t say out loud. I was waiting for my connecting flight in Tampa when a an announcement came over the loudspeaker and it sounded urgent, “we have a Code 10, I repeat a code 10!” Concerned, I got out my phone and looked it Up. Turns out it is a code for a clogged toilet! I guess that is their attempt to not embarrass whoever just clogged it up! Can you imagine the shame you might feel if you were having bathroom troubles only to gear a few minutes later across the whole terminal that the toilet needed unclogged?

Some language needs to be sanitized. That is to be expected. But not everything uncomfortable or unwelcome has to be struck from our vocabulary or turned into code words to keep people comfortable. Some things need to be said for the very purpose of making people uncomfortable.

That is the role of the prophet…challenge the ungodly patterns and attitudes that subvert our faith and form us into what is far more displeasing to God than unsettling and uncomfortable speech.

So don’t be afraid to use unsettling language when appropriate but don’t use the prophet role as an excuse to be rude unloving, crass for the sake of being crass or as license to say whatever you want.

One Response to We Have a Code 10! Sanitizing Our Language

  1. Matt,

    This post really resonates with me. I was recently criticized (but not by the leadership) for using “unsettling language” from the pulpit which I believe was rather appropriate. But as you point out so well, this should not be a license to say whatever we want. I’m noticing that even in “Christian”(using the term broadly)blogs and books the F word has become surprisingly fashionable. To me, that is going too far and definitely time to sanitize the language.

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