“I have a new one for you to tell your daughter!”
“Yeah? Let’s hear it!”
I chuckled. “What does that mean?”
“It means you’re not lying.”
“Really? Wow, I would never have guessed that! Okay, I will use it the next time I speak to her.” One of my staff members is a few years older than my daughter in college and he is fond of sharing the latest urban slangs with me since he knows I like to keep up with her lingo. Unfortunately by the time he shares things with me, the term is already outdated thanks to the hyper accelerated evolution of language through social media and the internet. I am still stuck on “hip” and “cool” that betray my boomer generation. Words like “lit” and “dope”, which I thought were current, are already passé. No cap! This time I would impress her!
I got my opportunity the next day when my daughter called and asked me to help her with a small project. I seized the moment to show her how hip her old man was! “Sure thing, Sweetheart. I’ll take care of it. I’m cap!”
An awkward silence followed. “Dad, did you mean to say, ‘No cap?’ “
I blew it!
It was not the first time I attempted and failed to integrate the vernacular of my daughter and her peers into my everyday speech. No doubt this will continue to plague me, and why not? These are not idioms that I use in everyday language. The meaning escaped me and the context in which I attempted to insert it was awkward at best.
My spiritual life has been no different. When I first became a Christian, there were many words and phrases that I used, particularly when speaking to other Christian believers, but I had no true understanding of what the words meant. Justification, sanctification, redemption. I conflated meanings and casually inserted them into my conversations. Like my futile attempts to impress my daughter, I used the words inappropriately, leading to more confusion with my listeners.
…always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7 (CSB)
Timothy warned against false religions teachers who were preying upon gullible women in the Church, deceiving them with their blasphemous teachings and leading them to sin. This same verse could be applied to me. Instead of making the effort to understand and inculcate these important principles of Christian theology and living into my own life, I casually tossed out these weighty words, misinforming many who heard me. It was an egregious period in my life and I have since confessed these sins and repented to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The words I choose to speak are important and whether I am attempting to fit in with a certain peer group or instruct others, I must always be mindful that God will judge me by every casual word I speak.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.