When I was a small boy growing up, my mother from time to time, would misquote a Bible verse to me when the words from my mouth would foul the air. I think the verse she had in mind was in the Book of Proverbs:
“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles” ~ Prov 21:23.
Now mom made it much more personal by inserting my name in place of the pronouns: “Mel, if you don’t ‘watch your words’ it’s going to get you in trouble.” And the TROUBLE she was referring too? A bar of soap, as in the above photo! Today, that would constitute child abuse and a visit by DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services)!!
“What’s The Big Deal About Using Profanity””
I’ve heard young people ask this same question before. Their explanation? “It’s a normal part of modern communication; it’s the ‘street language’ of today.”
I am probably on FACEBOOK more than I should be [my wife is thinking, “No DUH!”]. And my thinking? By having family and fellow Christians on the social media–each one of us could read and share our thoughts, even commenting at times about what was said or by linking others(YouTube; humorous quotes, etc.). I am beginning to CHANGE my thinking! I guess I’ve been too naive in thought in the words that often proceed out of someones mouth. They didn’t ‘just slip out.’ The words spoken came from the place of the heart.
Psalm 19:14 says,
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.”
WHAT IS PROFANITY?
The word “profane” literally means, “outside the temple.” The term “profanity” originally identified people or things as secular as opposed to religious.
Now PROFANITY in the American culture indicates secularization; an attack on Christian values. Our media ratings of movies, music and videos continue to use LANGUAGE as the criterion. BUT the standards of censorship over the airwaves are clearly ending. PROFANITY is often used for ‘shock value’ in expressing anger and humor and even sometimes, used from the church pulpit–to illustrate a point of course.
The WORDS often are associated with sexuality and filth along with the names of the Deity; used to bring additional potency and disrespect to the expressions. It has become politically correct in our culture by the blasphemous use of the name of God and His Son Jesus Christ and not regarded as “hate speech.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK?
The Bible recognizes the POWER OF WORDS right from the beginning. God used WORDS by speaking His creation into existence and the GIFT OF SPEECH is but one aspect of man’s creation in the image of God (Genesis 2:19-20).
In the REVELATION of God’s law, WORDS, ACTIONS were assigned to a moral value: lying, blasphemy, taking the Lord’s name in vain, cursing, were all examples of sinful speech forbidden in the Mosaic Law. Now you might be thinking at this point with a “BUT”. “BUT aren’t we under the New Covenant and not under Old Testament Law.” Yes and No. As believers in Christ Jesus, we are set free from the Law through FAITH (Romans 3:20-26). But the apostle Paul doesn’t stop there. He further states in Romans 3:31, “Do we then by [this] FAITH make the Law of no effect, over-throw it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.”
New Testament Understanding–BLESSING AND CURSING:
Scripture in the New Testament commands born-again believers to be PURE IN OUR SPEECH. and the controlling of our tongues:
“But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we BLESS the Lord and Father, and with it we CURSE men who were made in God’s likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not be so” (James 3:8-10 AMP).
Now read and listen to Colossians 3:7,8 in the MESSAGE Bible:
“It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that STUFF [‘doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it–verse 5] and not knowing better.  BUT you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, PROFANITY, DIRTY TALK.”
Christians should KNOW BETTER and always honor the purpose of SPEECH, our words, by the using of our mouths. To praise God and lead others to obey the Lord through FAITH in Jesus Christ. Every word we speak and every breath we take, including our comments spoken on social media, should be “gracious”; “seasoned with salt” ~ Colossians 4:6. Sharing someone else s “funny” link, that shows people picketing on a street, holding signs with bold 4-Letter words, doesn’t bring glory to Jesus nor does it “season with salt” other people’s opinions about YOU! Their opinion about you is, “You’re just like me. I think I’ll share that with all my buddies at work. It’s cute!” THINK about it before saying and sharing, “What would Jesus say if He saw this same image?” That cliche my be outdated to some, but not to us who fear the LORD.
WHAT CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED UPON TO DO:
We are called upon to live differently, act differently from the world of unbelievers. Remember, we are often the only BIBLE that unbelievers will ever read. We don’t need to speak or share PROFANITY to win a ‘cursing’ unbeliever to Christ anymore than I need to drink alcohol to win an alcoholic to Christ.
The words of Scripture have all the POTENCY and POWER that we need in this world to reach the hearts of the lost.
A “NOT-CURSING” WITNESS:
“As hard as it seems for Christians to actively SHARE their faith, the passive act of NOT engaging in PROFANITY can open lots of doors. Many times my not-cursing has caused people I work with to ask me about my faith. PEOPLE DO NOTICE!” ~ by Steven Wales.
How can the world see JESUS in us, to see that there is really something different about us, if we speak and behave as the world?
Paul gives us reference points when it comes to our WORDS, our speech patterns and our thought-life in Ephesians 5:1:
“THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].”
There you go! Would Abba Father use these words, or put profane images on the social media today? Paul’s not done yet:
“But immorality and ALL impurity or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people)” (verse 3).
NO SLIP-UPS here as an excuse–but “ALL impurity…”
“Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, no coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God]” (verse 4).
The next verse is worse than a “bar of soap” in your mouth if the PRACTICE of “filthiness”, “foolish and sinful, silly talk” is your testimony to those around you.
“For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in THOUGHT or IN LIFE, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (verse 5).
You can’t cough and spit that distasteful ‘bar of soap’ out of your mouth!
ASSOCIATIONS AND THE COMPANY WE KEEP:
Should Christians be selective in the “FRIENDS” we hang around with in person and on the social media networks? The apostle Paul points us to the answer in (verse 7):
“So do not associate or be SHARERS with them.”
Whose the “THEM”? Those who are categorized in verses 3-6 of Ephesians 5. And if you struggle with your language, your words, your thoughts as given in Scripture; “anger, rage, bad feelings towards others, curses and slander, and FOULMOUTHED abuse and shameful utterances from your lips” (Colossians 3:8 AMP), all my words will be of no avail. BUT if you meditate on God’s Word daily—“bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart,” you will be WATCHING YOUR WORDS in speech and your FACEBOOK entries (Proverbs 3:3 (b)).
TRANSFORMATION BY RENEWING–“Strip off the old self with its evil practices”:
The second biggest decision in your life, next to being ‘born-again’ into the kingdom of God, is found in Colossians 3:10 and Romans 12:2:
“And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] RENEWED and REMOLDED into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the IMAGE (the likeness) of Him Who created it.”
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be TRANSFORMED (changed) by the [entire] RENEWAL of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may PROVE [for yourselves] what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”