I hear the words skipping around in my head, “don’t be ugly.” But somehow my mouth just opens up and I hear ugly words come out anyway. Why can’t I just keep my mouth shut?
For the same reason Paul couldn’t (Romans 7:15)—for one. Because sometimes saying something ugly about someone else somehow makes me feel better about myself—for two. It’s called leveling: If I am feeling bad about myself and I say something ugly about someone else, then we’re even. Because some days I’m just in a lousy mood and I am ugly—for three. I think three reasons is plenty.
If you are lost right now, forgive me. I’m from the South, and in the South “being ugly” is defined as saying mean things to, or about, other people. Yes, I know it’s wrong. As a matter of fact it’s something I scold my children for when something ugly comes flying out of their mouths.
I had a weak moment (I had an ugly moment.) and felt compelled to share in an effort to caution all my friends out there to watch out because even with the best of intentions I am ugly, and if you don’t keep yourself in check you might be ugly, too!
Caution: Realize that this phrase become a favorite of my children. My daughter loves to look at her little brother and say, “Stop being ugly … I said, stop being ugly … really, stop being ugly. Oops, I guess you can’t stop.” (Snicker, snicker.) She is her mother’s daughter—no matter how hard she tries sometimes she just can’t keep her mouth shut!