Saturday, April 18, 2020
There is a very popular slogan that says,"I love Jesus but I cuss a little!" I have seen many people wearing the shirt and boasting in loving Jesus and using profanity. Let's discuss profanity from a biblical perspective. Does a 4 letter word really have meaning? Do Christians have the freedom in Christ to curse? Does God care about our speech? Is profanity clearly explicit in scripture as something that should be avoided by believers?
"The Holy Spirit living inside of you should impact the words that come out of you."
1. Honor Christ with your speech
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt 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.
A Christian is someone who has been born again and made a new creation in Christ. They have died to their old life and now live a new life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many of us once indulged in profanity and obscene language in the world. Now that we're in Christ we're called to honor God with our life, even down to our speech. Christians will get annoyed, angry, and impatient at times but we have to learn how to express ourselves in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord. We aren't loving God or our neighbors well if we use words to tear others down. We are exhorted to use words that encourage, edify, and bring grace. We must be reverent in our speech, being reminded that we will give an account to God on judgment day for every word that we speak. Matthew 12:36
2. Our speech matters to our witness
Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are representatives of Him to the unbelieving world. Our speech and the way that we live has a large impact on the effectiveness of our message. We must be consistent over time in order to clearly present the message of the gospel. The moment someone finds out that you're a Christian, you better believe that they are watching you! Your co-workers, peers, and family members are watching to see if you live out the message that you proclaim. We shouldn't be consumed with how the world views us, but we should desire to be a good witness to them. The world will not take us serious if we're trying to preach to them one day, then the next day we're using profanity or cursing someone out! James 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
3. Our words reveal what's in our heart
Matthew 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
I've repeatedly heard the statement,"It doesn't matter that I curse because God knows my heart." Scripture reveals to us that our speech reveals what's inside of our heart. What's in our heart comes out in the way that we speak and live. Words are the revelation of our true inner condition. Are our words evidence of a regenerate heart that has been transformed by God? Or evidence of an unregenerate heart that is dead in sin? Matthew 15:18-19 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. We must also be diligent in guarding what we watch, read, and listen to. What we fill our heart with will eventually come out. Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.
4. Our greatest aim should be holiness
1 Peter 1:16 For it is written,"Be holy for I am holy"
Regardless if we're convinced if cursing is sin or not, we have to ask ourselves is using profanity pursuing holiness? Is it being set-apart from the world? Does it bring glory to God? If we're being honest we know that the answer is no! God's greatest desire in saving us is to see us holy and conformed to the image of Christ. 2 Timothy 1:9 We're not called to be cool or culturally relevant, we're called to be holy. We will never win the world by acting like the world. We can be all things to all people without compromising who we are in Christ. For those of us who justify cursing by saying that we have freedom in Christ. Our freedom in Christ should never be used at the expense of indulging in the flesh or being a stumbling block to others. Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom brothers. Only do not use your freedom as am opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Sanctification is a life long process and we will grow at different rates, but our greatest desire should be holiness even down to the words that we use!
5. We must purify ourselves
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse you hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded
Even though we have been born again, we still have a flesh that we must battle. Christians will not be perfect but there is a huge difference in intentionally using profanity with no conviction or desire to change vs cursing in a moment of anger, then feeling godly sorrow and repenting. We have to also be cautious of our inward thoughts. There may be times when we may not verbally curse but we think it in our minds. Regardless, we must continually allow the Lord to purify our hearts and minds and transform us through the reading of the word. Romans 12:2. Please don't believe that you can't overcome cursing, you can! If we are in Christ, we have power through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. This means that we can control what comes out of our mouth through the power of the Holy Spirit. We have to take things day by day and be prayerful and intentional about our words!
This blog was not written with the intention to condemn or belittle anyone who uses profanity, but to encourage all believers to honor the Lord in our speech. We all have different struggles and if one of our struggles is profanity, let us humbly come to our Lord in confession and repentance. He is so merciful, gracious, and faithful to help us in our struggles and weakness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Saints, let's continue to be the light in a dark world and use our words to edify others and glorify the Lord in all that we do. Grace and Peace! 💕