When I was growing up as a young man the first foul language I was exposed to was sexual vulgarity in middle school. I would never speak the words I heard among my school and neighborhood friends at home and I certainly do not ever recall my parents using those words in their conversation or anger. The worse words I recall my parents use were the words Damn and Hell (abbreviation for condemnation to Hell). When I heard those words they were never used in the context of speaking about God and spiritual matters. When I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and received the Lord as my personal Savior I discovered how foul mouthed I actual was and how I needed to change my word choices. This was not something anyone had to teach me as the Lord taught me the next day. But it took me weeks to train my thinking to stop using those words. There are really only three categories of vulgar and profane language that mankind will ever really use. I will share that a little later, but no matter what language in the world you speak there are only three categories of cursing, profanity and vulgarity that humanity uses in the futility of their thinking.
The Bible was written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). In the Old Testament one of the commands of God to Moses was to not take the Lord God’s name in vain. The Jews regarded God’s name so holy that not only did they avoid using His name even in context. They dropped vowels from his name to not say it exactly as He name is. Because of that we have the name Jehovah as part of His original name. A Jewish Rabbi named Daniel Lapin notes that the Hebrew language is derived from God and God’s Word and there are actually no Hebrew curse words in the language. He says if a present day Hebrew speaking Jew wants to curse he has to borrow words from other languages like Arabic. It is interesting that the third command in exodus 20 is that we are not to misuse the name of the Lord. So why is that? When I am in a group of people and I hear someone invoke my name “for Pete’s sake” I turn my head because I hear my name. In the Old Testament names had meanings and people lived up their names. In the New Testament Jesus said that our yes was to be yes and our no was to be no. We are not to bear false witness for our “Words” has meanings and definitions and they invoke power. Matthew 12:24 say for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.(NIV) Psalms 34:13 says ; keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking evil. ESV
Recently I was talking with missionaries from a French speaking country. Somehow we got discussing words and their meanings. No matter what the language or the sound of the word there are just three areas we invoke profanity, vulgarity and cursing. You see as humans we communicate with our words. We plan act innocent of the words we choose or we may truly be ignorant, but basically most people know what they are saying when they curse. The more words we know the better we can communicate. The bible says that we speak from the heart and that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat of its fruits. Proverbs 18:21.
Public cursing and vulgarity began to be release through TV and the air ways back in the 1960’s. Prior to that what the public heard was clean and wholesome speech for the most part. Today our entire nation is being polluted with sick talk and language on every corner, but the biggest tragedy is that it has slide into the Church of the Jesus Christ. We even have pastors in our generation who drop profane words for shock value and use sexual slang as common speech. Even the smallest children who are not even mature enough to do the things they speak of have become common. We as the Church of Jesus Christ need to turn around our nation and make our nation holy again.
There are three areas of profanity in life that are to be private, honorable and protected. When we use words or substitute words similar to words associated with these three areas in defaming ways then we are speaking with the futility of our minds. The first area is when we speak of sexuality among men or women or in mixed company where we mock, belittle or berate others or speak of such sexual acts that dishonor the marriage bed. When we tear down another human being with sexual language we are succumbing to futility thinking of the godless. When we speak of any of the sexual parts of the human anatomy is such a way to dishonor it, make humor of it or use slang about it we are profaning what God created and intended to be private between a male and female. Sexuality is to be sacred, holy beautiful and respectable. The words we use in our conversations matter in all relationships. How we talk in business, in friendships and in marriage determines success and failure. If you curse daily and then go to a job interview and intentionally try not to curse your mind with struggle with proper replacement words and will reflect in your ability to communicate quickly and promptly. God wants you to start thinking and talking like He thinks and talks. James says, who can tame the tongue? Man can’t, but God can because with God all things are possible. Read Paul’s admonishment in Eph 4:29, but read the whole paragraph. We are to be different and to even think different than those lost souls in our world.
The second category of profanity is vulgarizing bathroom talk. When we use words and slang in any language that reflects the things we do in the bathroom by way of excrement we miss the mark of how God intends us to communicate with one another. Urine and feces have been hijacked into all kinds of slang and vulgar terms to express other experiences and frustrations of life that have nothing to do with such. It might be a figure of speech to some, but its vulgar and rude and futile thinking. Last of all, but certainly not least is the taking of the Names of God in vain. He is Holy and all His names are Holy. When we use God’s names as an expression of shock, excitement, surprise or fear when we are not actually calling upon Him then we are cursing against heaven, breaking a covenant commandment and diminishing our reputation among men.
Eternity is real and so is God, heaven, hell and the final judgment. As an example, when we say things like “oh My God” we may not mean what we say, but we said it as a vain expression. We do these types of things for a variety of reasons from being lazy, conforming to others, lack of vocabulary or lacking control of our emotions. Only God can and will condemn a soul or a devil to a place of torment. If we really wanted God to condemn someone then we obviously do not understand the character of God.
A few weeks ago I was in a small cafe in Watkinsville, Ga. I was having a cup of coffee and reading and studying. People came and left and then I was the only customer in the room. At that point this man came in from outside. He obviously had been eating on the porch. He came in and started cursing at the owner about his meal. He used sexual foul language repeatedly and loud about his bad experience with his hamburger. He did not care that a customer was there and even said that he did not care that I was there. He really lacked words to express his anger and he did not stop for like 4 minutes. He insulted the owner and even when he was offered a refund he kept at it with vulgar obscene language. Within a few minutes the owner was crying and he was apologizing and refusing to take his refund. It was really bad, but this stuff happens all the time across our nation in public as no other generation ever has had to endure. We are reaping as a nation 50 years of increased vulgarity in our media and entertainment. This man’s language and behavior was coming from his futile thinking in his mind. While this was going on I was praying. Before he left the restaurant he was apologizing over and over, yet the damage was done and owner kept saying please leave. No money or apologize was turning that experience around quickly. Public shame will only be restored as believers raise the bar, resist the flood of obscenities flooding our modern times and praying to make a verbal difference.
So how does vulgarity, profanity and cursing defeat you? If you use language like this you are separating yourself from future success, your fellow man and God. If you talk like this at home you will talk like this in public. Even though this type of language is more culturally acceptable today then it’s ever been, does not mean everyone is like this. When we use bad language and words we reveal our shallow futile thinking and our ungodly character. God created our minds and hearts to reflect Him and give Him glory and when we allow ourselves to speak to each other and express our hearts with slang and vulgarity words and phrases we will limit our potential among men and God.
Our words create a path of destruction or success for our days. Words are our tools. The more tools you have in your tool chest the better job you can do in life with others. When we allow ourselves to be exposed to words in media, movies and literature that a generation ago never tolerated we will pay the price sooner or later. When we allow our children to be entertained by movies that should make us blush verses laugh we need to review our standards. It’s time for the people of God to raise the standard of our thinking to a level like unto our God. The bedroom talk should stay in the bedroom and bathroom language when necessary should be decent and in context. Our words at all times should be honoring to our fellow man and our God.
Below are a few more scriptures that support the need to guard our tongues. May God grant us wisdom and a Godly mind to speak from.
I IISamuel 23:4 The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue. ESV
- · Job 6:30 Is there any injustice on my tongue? Cannot my plate discern the cause of calamity? ESV
- · Job 15:5 for your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. ESV
- · Job 27:4 my lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit. ESV
- · Psalms 73:9 they set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongues struts through the earth. ESV
- · Psalms 139:4 even before a word is on my tongue, behold, o Lord, you know it altogether. ESV
- · Proverb 12:19 the mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue is but for a moment. ESV
- · Proverb 15:2 the tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. ESV
- · Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ESV
- · Matthew 12:24 “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” NIV
- · Proverbs 10:11 the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals. NIV
- · Proverbs 26:9 a troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth. NIV
- · 1 Peter 2:22 He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. NIV