Months ago, I wrote a guest article that discussed the evil and damage profanity can do. It received a number of comments that dripped with the very words I spoke against, and like any person, the words wounded me. However, some of the comments offered advice between their critical words. I had not used Bible verses to support my argument, and therefore the readers assumed that I was speaking from my heart and not the Word of God.
I feel the need, however, to address the issue once more – this time on my own blog. Profanity and destructive language have always been a topic that has bothered me. Anyone can see the damage that words can do. What many don’t see is the fact that profanity can prove to be a stumbling block to other people, especially in the Body of Christ. Also, what we say reflects our own character, and not only that: as believers we are called to reflect Christ, and if unwholesome talk is constantly spilling from our mouths, what image are we projecting to unbelievers?
One of my favorite verses concerning this topic is Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
It constantly reminds me that whatever I say can either build people up or break and tear them down. Since one of our responsibilities as believers is to encourage each other and to lift each other up through prayer and fellowship, to constantly say negative words would be defeating that entire endeavor.
The Bible also discusses the strange fact that believers, who have been transformed by the blood of Christ, would still speak unwholesomely.
“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
– James 3:10
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” – Ephesians 5:4
We use our words to praise the Lord for what He has done. The same mouth we use to speak praise, we use to say filthy words that destroy people. The image that came to my mind is a faucet from where we draw clean, drinking water… and then taking the same faucet and drawing from it waste water. How revulsive would that be? What purpose does the faucet really serve; as a waste disposal or a dispenser of drinking water?
We are commanded: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Profanity and filthy language are associated with the world for a good reason. If Christians are truly transformed by their salvation, they turn away from worldly, evil things to the purity and holiness of Christ. If we speak as the world does, then we are conforming to it. This is dangerous because Jesus Himself gave a haunting warning to those who speak unwholesomely: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36-37
I believe this verse packs a whole lot more meaning than what it literally says. Words have power, as previously stated, but more so because the Word of God is made of, well, words. In John 1:1-14, Jesus is described as the Word that became flesh. It makes sense that we will be judged by our words, because through the Word – Jesus – we will be judged on Judgment Day. We have been warned, and have no excuse we can present to God for what we have said, do, and will say.
Therefore, I pray that in the days and years to come, we will be constantly reminded to say to God: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
All verses are taken from the Holy Bible: English Standard Version