"I just don't see what the big deal is!" Dave said. "They're just words. I don't mean anything by them."
Rita shook her head. "How can you say that, Dave? You're a Christian." Rita had told Dave she couldn't believe the language she'd heard him use in the school cafeteria. Dave and Rita had been friends since first grade, and their families attended the same church.
"Yeah, but everybody talks that way," he said.
"Christians?" Rita asked.
Dave shrugged. "Look, they're just words. There's nothing wrong with them." "How can you say that?" Rita asked again. "How can you let such impure things come out of your mouth and then say there's nothing wrong with it?" "They're just words," Dave said in an exasperated tone.
"They're filthy words," Rita pressed. "Come on, Dave, you go to the same
Sunday-school class as I do. You know that God commands us to be pure. He commands us to be blameless and pure."
"But nothing! You know as well as I do that the reason God commands purity is because he values purity. And the reason he values purity is because he is pure!
Remember what Mr. Franklin told us?" she said, referring to their Sunday-school teacher. "Remember, he told us all about the regulations God gave for the tabernacle and the temple, and how they were supposed to use pure gold and pure incense, and not mix linen and wool, and all that stuff that was supposed to show them that God was pure and that he wanted—"
"OK, OK!" Dave said, holding up his hands in a gesture of surrender. "I'll stop using those words, if it makes you happy."
"It doesn't matter if it makes me happy," Rita said. "But it'll make God happy.
He's the one who wants you to be pure."
"All right," Dave said. "But answer a question for me, OK?"
Dave's request surprised Rita. "What?"
"How can you talk so long without taking a breath?"
Rita saw the traces of a mischievous smile on Dave's face. "Practice," she said.
DISCUSS: Take turns naming ways that you can be pure in thought, word, and deed.
PRAYER:"Our Loving Heavenly Father, Lord, we want our words to be as pure as the incense that was offered up in your temple. Help us to live pure and blameless lives. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, In Jesus Loving Name I Pray, Amen."
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