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Be Careful not to Curse
- Jen Shroder

I landed an excellent job with a Christian organization. It paid well and the best part was I got off work at 2:00 so I could be home when the kids got out of school. The only problem was I sat between two of the meanest women Iíve ever worked with. I got picked apart in stereo. It was so bad that co-workers on the other side of the cubicle started talking to the division manager about it. She pulled me aside in sympathy one day and told me that before I worked there, they used to pick on each other. She had them hash it out once for three hours and she was shocked at how mean they were. I told her Iíd take a third cut in pay if I could sit anywhere else, but I was hired to help the one on the left so it didnít happen.

I wanted to quit but couldnít stand the thought of not seeing my kids after school, so I took it. I thought of myself as a rubber mat taking hits of electricity, I just needed to absorb it and let it go. I was in constant prayer, leaning on the knowledge that God saw every word and injustice. I finally understood what is meant by, "Give it to God"Ö and Iíd give my anger to Him over and over and over again.

After months of this, the one on the right (Iíll call her Ann) said something particularly catty first thing in the morning. I found myself in the ladies room where I could be alone and said out loud a prayer of cursing that just poured out of me until I cursed her writing which was key to her position and important to the company. As I was cursing, I realized I didnít want to hurt the company so I added, "For one day, I pray she canít write FOR ONE DAYÖ"

After a while I composed myself and returned to my desk. Eventually I noticed she wasnít writing anything. Hours passed. She stared at her computer. I overheard her in the bossís office saying she couldnít understand it, she never had writerís block before. I was stunned. The whole day went by and she was unable to write ANYTHING. I went home that night a little freaked out. I felt like a two year old that had been given a loaded gun, I wasnít mature enough for this!

The next morning "Ann" came in and apologized for what she had said the day before. As mean as she was, this woman honestly had a relationship with the Lord and I think He told her why she was unable to write. She was able to write again but it seemed like she was slowly recovering all that morning.

Days later I was part of a group of proofreaders that critiqued her work. Everyone was shaking their heads saying, "This doesnít sound like Ann, this is terribleÖ" I sat there wincing and biting my lipÖ I have been careful about cursing ever since.

(Sidenote: I couldnít work in an office after that job. After about a year there my self-confidence was completely shot. So I took a job as a bus driver from 5am to 2pm for two years. And then one day I saw it. A mug shot of the woman that had been on my left, she was charged with attempted murder. )

But thatís not the only time I cursed. Another time involved a man that had authority over me and I think treated me very unjustly. Itís a long story, I knew why he was suffering hardship but I couldnít tell him, I knew he wouldnít accept it anyway and I left, I struggled with it for a while because I didnít want to leave, but I couldnít be a part of what was happening there either, it involved mocking God. Then one day when I went back, he lashed out at me and worse. Hours later I was on a bus. I could pretty much pinpoint the time because I knew the schedule and where I was when I cursed him if God was willing. I found out later that at the exact time, as close as could be pinpointed which was at most a couple of minutes, he accidentally cut himself so badly that he either had to go to the hospital or should haveÖI donít remember the details but it was bad and bizarre how it happened.

Now Iím REALLY careful not to curse. It upset me because I donít think there is a "gift" of cursing. But then I read in Acts 13:

"But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?

"Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.

Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord."

We Christians can effectively curse when God is in agreement. Especially when itís because someone is twisting what God said. Iím pretty sure I canít curse at a whim but I wouldnít want to try. If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, be cautious. It really does feel like a gun that goes off when you didnít really think it was loaded. And that is kind of a shock, even if it's justified.

Both times I prayed for permission but even with that, if you are Christian, be so very careful. Because Paul wrote to the Romans (13):

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ďVengeance is Mine, I will repay,Ē says the Lord. Therefore

'If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.'

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Amen.
_____________

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