Clarksville, TN – It is said that “swearing is the feeble attempt of an ignorant mind to express itself forcefully.” Anyone who has to use four letter words continually shows that he has a very limited vocabulary, a lack of class, and a vulgar thought life.
It’s interesting that when God gave the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel, one of them was directed against the natural tendency of fallen human nature to use the name of God as an oath. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain”. (Exodus 20:7)In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Don’t swear at all either by heaven for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it’s his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King, And don’t swear by your head for you can’t make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ be ‘no’, anything beyond this comes from the evil one”. (Matthew 5:34-37)
Here Jesus said we shouldn’t swear at all. He knew that oaths were of no use, a good man wouldn’t need one and a bad man wouldn’t believe one. Also He knew that God is involved, no matter what you swear by. To swear by the heavens is to swear by his throne. To swear by the earth is to swear by his footstool, so on it goes down the line. God created everything and has a part in everything so whatever you swear by your swearing by Him.
A Christian’s speech should be so honest and straight forward that no oath is necessary and so clean that no profanity is ever used, but in a court of law, it isn’t wrong for a believer to take an oath, Jesus testified under oath (Matthew 26:63-64) and that means that His followers may do so also. We should also avoid using toned down versions of curse words; for an example gosh or golly for God; Gee for Jesus; heck for hell or darn for damn. It’s not hard to tell what these minced oaths really stand for.
As for dirty talk, the word of God is clear, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear”. (Ephesians 4:29)
James said, “No one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men who have been made in the likeness of God, from the same mouth come blessing and cursing, my brethren, those things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree produce olives or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh. (James 3:8-12)
In other words, there is nothing in the world like the human tongue. It blesses at one time and then curses the next minute. It can speak words of comfort, encouragement, love and healing; then in the next minute it can be telling dirty jokes hurting others breaking up a marriage or damning people to hell.
The tongue is an indicator of what’s in the heart. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”. (Matthew 12:34) Filthy talk comes from a filthy heart. Gracious kind and helpful words come from a clean heart.
It’s true that no one can tame the tongue (James 3:8), but it’s also true that God can tame it if we let Him. We should be “quick to hear, and slow to speak” (James 1:19) We should pray, “Set a guard . O Lord, over my mouth, keeps watch over the door of my lips”. (Psalm 14:3) We should memorize key verses that deal with the believers’ speech. We should ask our Christian friends to correct us every time we say anything that isn’t honoring Christ.
Excerpt from Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths written by Richard “Reason” Garrett
Copyright © 2011 Liberated Publishing Inc