Mike Ditka is one of those athletes/coaches who seem bigger than life. Now coach of the New Orleans Saints football team, he recently shocked his coaching staff when he announced that he was not going to use profanity ever again. According to those who have known him through the years, Ditka was in the habit of introducing certain colorful words in virtually every conversation, using them as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

    "Let's be honest, it is a stupid and silly habit. I have said it so much in my life, it is just ridiculous." Eight months later, he has kept that promise and he recently told his players, "I have done a lot of stupid things in my life that I probably won't do again and using profanity is one of them. There is no room for it on the field. It might slip out every now and then but I don't want to hear it. Now, when you feel like saying it, I want you to say, "Praise the Lord!'"

    Many of us would be wise to heed the advice of people like Coach Ditka, who saw a need to transform his life. In Romans 12, the apostle Paul urges his readers to "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God... Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his pleasing and perfect will" (12:1b-2).

    It is always more difficult to live contrary to the world's opinions, but we have One who can help us fight the battle. Remember today that those who are in Christ have undergone a blessed transformation from sinner to saved sinner.


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