Life and Death are in the Tongue: What the Bible Says about Cursing, Swearing & Profanity
By Betty Miller
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:11, 17-20
Curse Words Reveal the Condition of a Man’s Heart
Jesus taught in the Bible that when a man curses or uses profanity it is a sign of evil that was in that man’s heart. It is popular today for both men and women to curse. They never think of it as an evil condition in their heart, but rather a small thing that everyone does. These small words of cursing the Bible says, will defile the whole man if they are not repented of and stopped. Cussing and using the name of the Lord in vain causes one to become defiled.
Popular movies and TV are responsible for causing society to accept foul language as the “norm.” They portray cursing as a way to vent anger and tell people off. The very attitudes behind cursing show that it is not right as cussing is used to demean and put down people. These words can be mild expletives to horrible blasphemies. Since the devil is the one who inspires these evil utterances he causes people to use our Lord’s name in the most ungodly ways.
In the modern definition of cursing, usually people use the name of Jesus or God in vain and swear with curses such as “go to hell” or “damn you.” These words clearly show it is an evil coming from the devil. Have you ever wondered why people do not use the names of gods of other religions when they curse? The names that the devil hates and uses people to voice hateful curses are “God,” “Christ,” “Jesus Christ” and “Jesus.” Terms about hell and heaven are also used in derogatory ways. The very misuse of these words should prove the existence of God and the reality of a heaven and hell.
Even Christians have been tricked into using bad expressions when they are upset. They are take-offs of the Lord’s names such as: “Geeze” or “Jes” (short for Jesus), “Good Gosh,” “Gosh Darn,” “Lordy.” This is known as “shoot cussin.” There are other terms used, which we will not repeat, as they are vulgar profanities. However, these illustrations make the point.
Many good movies have been ruined for Christians because the script writers thought adding profane language (which they refer to as adult language) somehow made the movie more realistic. Neither adults nor children should use bad language if we are to be like our Lord. We do not have to use curse words to emphasize our intentions.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Colosians 3:8-10
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:37
If swearing and cursing have been a problem in your life ask the Lord to forgive you and deliver you so that your words may be good and loving words full of grace and truth. He will help you overcome this problem through His power.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:34-36
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
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Betty Miller has written several books on other topics as well. To view titles or purchase those books visit our bookstore.