“I pointed at the screen and said, ‘Effer!’ Except I didn’t say Effer. I dropped the real eff bomb. Out loud. In my office. At my computer screen though, it was meant for someone in particular…” I confessed while we stood there in the park.

My dearest friend whom I’ve walked through life with for seventeen years dropped her mouth and widened her eyes. She’s not unaccustomed to the phrase, she just didn’t know I could ever say it. To be honest, prior to the passed few months, I had no idea I could either. But I was ashamed; even now it sort of makes my heart feel like it’s on fire. But I guess that’s why the saying goes, you know, something about not fighting fire with fire.

I was going out on a limb because I wanted to be known as a woman after God’s heart so I needed to speak my actions out loud so it didn’t get to have say in the rest of my day. I didn’t want to be the erratic one, or the one who goes to church and also sporadically gsaid the eff bomb about people rather than their deeper qualities of good.

I’m not a goodie entirely, but I’ve just never felt alright about the whole concept of swearing. What does it prove? What is its purpose? I’d always felt there were more appropriate words and ways to describe what I were feeling. But I swore smooth like silk in the moment and wondered who was the angry girl inside this stressed out little-ish frame? Though it felt rough as thorns to swallow what I’d already said, it came out so easily. It scares me. Can I just be honest and tell you, that really scares me.

My whole life has been a season of loving people for where they are while contending for God’s best in their life. It’s what I’d always thought I were good at, and in fact, gave myself quite a bit of credit for. Lately with a certain few however, I am simply trying to tolerate them. Obviously.

Scripture often begs the question of its reader; what is it to love if loving someone is easy? There is no credit to your character here- you must learn to love those whom it feels easier to swear at.

Okay. It doesn’t say that exactly. You can check out one of the many real words here. But I guess in this culture and in this moment, I’d assume the simple words I’d written at the top of this post might connect with a few of you. Or then again, maybe it’s just me.

Either way, I’m sitting here in a pool of conviction not just because I swore but because there is something deeper brewing here. Even though I was angry and felt discarded again, I’ve chosen to be a woman who honors and loves people where they are at, while contending for God’s very best in their life. I’d forgotten there is a most simple pleasure and reward in knowing this is part of me. See if I know anything about Jesus, it’s that He too spent His life loving people even when it was tough. “Are you still so simple?!” He’d ask the twelve. Or, “there is one here tonight who will betray me,” he predicted while looking at their heart and washing their feet. He’d known betrayal and disappointment, but He took the road of loving, serving, and teaching even where it was probably really awfully tough.

So there you have it. I love Jesus and I said I’d love these people and I swore towards someone through a computer screen right in the middle of it all. Sure I could excuse myself by reminding everyone my life is beyond stressful right now, but no one needs excuses for behavior that can be held under the freedom of self-control.

I’ve also found peace in His forgiveness like I could try loving again, even if this time I’d failed. And so I stare at my computer screen forgetting to take the easy, rude road of swearing at people through computer screens, and trying again to simply love and learn when I mess it up, even alone in my office. It isn’t fire one uses to fight fire after all.

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (James 3:17-18 MSG)