It is to no surprise that swearing and cursing have become a common expression of speech in today’s culture. Everywhere I seem to go, there are always those who would break the ice and allow wasteful profanity to escape from their lips. Close friends that I have come to know in college and in my high school laugh about the fact that one of my most repeated phrases around them is “watch your language!” The very fact that many find it humorous, including myself, makes it evident that there is a problem. But the problem illuminating before my eyes is that even Christians are prone to curse with unguarded lips; the sad part of it all is that I barely even noticed.
One day, when my brother and I were shopping at an outlet mall, there was a man whom we both had passed that was smoking. For me it was not bothersome, though I did understand the danger that the practice poses on one’s body. However, my brother had a contrasting reaction compared to mine, as he began to cough violently and complain about how atrocious the smell was. I had become so used to the practice of smoking and the scent from the cigarettes that I had become completely blindsided to how bad smoking really is. I feel that I allowed the same kind of blindness to develop as I’ve witnessed Christians participating in profanity, swearing, and deviance. It is a frequent problem with those who regularly attend, constantly serve, and devotedly lead churches.
In my eyes, the Scriptures are very clear on keeping our lips pure in Colossians 3:8 (ESV) saying, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Notice that Apostle Paul, the writer, stressed that all of these things must be kept far from the lips of believers as we walk in Christ. Another scripture that touches on this issue is James 3:10 (ESV) where Apostle James says, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Cursing should not be a part of our life, for it doesn’t evoke wisdom or success, but it seems that much of the media disagrees.
According to articles written in The Independent and Huffington Post, media outlets most well-known for their conservative and biblical stance on cultural issues (I say this with extreme sarcasm), people who tend to curse are apparently smarter than those who can “keep their cool”. So now, not only is cursing ok, but cursing is now synonymous with a genius mind. According to these posts, those who refuse to curse are part of the mindless sheep that keeps the universe from intellectual progress. That conclusion couldn’t be further than the truth presented in the Bible.
After telling his fellow brethren that cursing shouldn’t be a part of our life, as we are to speak blessing, James speaks about what makes a man wise in James 3:13 (ESV) and then in James 3:17 (ESV), “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Notice that wisdom has meekness, and is not as bash and bombastic as the articles on The Independent and Huffington Post make it to be. Wisdom, in God’s eyes, is associated with goodness, gentleness, and peace. How is a person supposed to be wise yet containing none of those things?
As believers, we shouldn’t be concerned with the way the world perceives success, but whether Father God is pleased with the way we live our lives. David makes it very clear that those who are considered God’s children are to live a godly life in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” God expects much more from us than the world that lives by carnal myths rather than the truth of God. He wants His people to seek wisdom and to guard their own lips, thereby leaving no room for profanity, but only the proclamation of the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria.