Sunday, July 3, 2016
Is it okay for Christians to swear? No, it isn't. "But wait, what about that time Paul said I count all things as dung in order to win Christ! Isn't that the same thing as, you know, a certain swear word that means the same thing?"
Nice try, but no. Elsewhere, Paul gives a very clear instruction in 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." So for the Christian, our words are not to tear down but build up, speaking grace to others.
Think about what you communicate when you curse. By using the harshest of words to describe a person or situation, you are actually cursing God. A person is made in the image of God, and you would curse that image? The Bible says to be thankful and rejoice in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and you would tell God that his way isn't good enough?
Will outsiders believe you when you say you trust God's way and then swear when things don't go your way? Or when you say you love others and then curse them?
Paul said to put away obscene talk from your mouth, and to walk in wisdom toward outsiders. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person (Colossians 3:8; 4:5-6). James said if a person can't control his words, even when he's alone, his religion is worthless (James 1:26). The Lord hates perverted speech.
Jesus said out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So pray as David prayed: "Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:4), when we understand the text.
"[The tongue] is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not be so." James 3:8-10
"The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." Proverbs 8:13