Recently, the New York City public school system listed 50 words that it wanted “blacklisted” from standardized tests. These words were banned to prevent test-taking students from being offended. Some of the words on this years “blacklist” are:  Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, swimming pools, homelessness, and dancing. Except ballet, of course.

According to School District Officials, these words could offend students who take the test. However, some see the list as  “over-the-top” political correctness. While I am not here to debate the merits of New York’s Blacklist, I do think having a personal “blacklist” of words you never use is a good idea.

For starters, let us NEVER use the Lord’s name inappropriately.  The 10 Commandments clearly state, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

What is your litmus test for your words? Are your words reckless and offensive to others or wise and comforting? Proverbs 12:18 reminds us that “the words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

So, spend some time today thinking about what you might be saying that offends those around you. Make your “blacklist” and make a positive difference.