Try This Exercise: No Swearing this Lent

Renée Darline Roden says she’s giving up swearing for Lent. A self-identified fan of salty language, Roden says, “Just as I set aside my precious stash of Dove Chocolates, I am putting my favorite four-letter words back in the pantry until Lent is over.”

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The reason why might surprise you.

“As I took up this new Lenten challenge,” Roden writes on the America website, “I noticed how quickly I reached for a strong word when hurt, when angry, when frustrated. By attempting to halt that instinctive grab for a convenient verbal crutch, I began to notice how frequently my reactions consisted of hurt, anger or frustration.”

As she continued to practice this spiritual discipline, she learned more about her use of language. “We calibrate our minds and hearts to reality through the words we employ,” she writes, and “The words I use can either obscure the larger landscape of reality or invite me into it.”

Roden concludes: “By seeking this Lent to let go of my ingrained verbal habits and instinctive emotional reactions, I can begin to consider others from outside of my own limited point of view. I can try to see them from the perspective of truth, through the eyes of God.”

Read Roden’s full essay here: “This Lent, I’m giving up swearing.”

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