Dear Cussing Christian,
I urge you to repent. Perhaps that puzzles you. After all, what’s the big deal? They’re just words, right? God, through His divine authoritative Word, says otherwise. In James 3, the tongue is described as an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (v8).
“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 to be so (v10).”
Now, of course, this passage is not simply referring to a list of “no-no” words, but a much broader category of speech that curses your neighbor, dishonors God, and hinders your testimony. Earlier in the passage, we see that he who is able to control his tongue will be able to control his whole body (v2). So while you may think of profanity as no big deal, the Scripture makes it plain that learning self-control in this one area is an essential part of Christian growth, even more for those desire to teach (v1).
I am disheartened by how many of my brothers and sisters in Christ disregard biblical teaching on profanity, with secular arguments as their support. If you’re not convinced that God desires His children to refrain from cursing, think about this: Even our secular society agrees that particular words ought to be censored to some degree, at the very least affecting the ratings of TV and movies. I have been genuinely astonished that I have to point that out, but more and more Christians have allowed post-modern thinking to destroy their sense of moral absolutes, down to the very words they use.
The question should never be, “How much can I get away with and still be godly?” but “How much can I forsake in pursuit of godliness?” We are not of the world but sent into it (John 17:16-18).
Furthermore, it is explicitly clear in Ephesians that God holds Christians to a high standard of pure speech. It is not enough to simply put away profanity. We must also speak words filled with life and grace, our hearts postured to spread the gospel.
“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 (Ephesians 4:29).”
Dear Christian, are your words filled with grace? Or are they filled with the filthiness, foolishness, and crude joking described in Ephesians 5:4? Let it not be so. Ask God today for the grace to change your vocabulary.
If we won’t submit to the lordship of Christ over our speech, how on earth are we going to have the discipline to submit in much weightier matters like sexuality? He who is faithful in little is faithful in much (Luke 16:10). So instead of seeking to justify our “lesser” sins, let us take pleasure in exalting Christ with every fiber of our being.