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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, so that it will give grace to those who hear. EPHESIANS 4:29
Fifty years ago, censors were allowed to delete crude terms from books before they were published. When James Jones, for example, included more than 250 vulgar words in his final manuscript of From Here to Eternity, censors eliminated 208 of them from the original hardcover edition. When the book came out in paperback, they deleted all the rest. They simply didn’t want the masses reading profane words.
Things have changed a bit, haven’t they?
Some R-rated movies today contain as many as 200 curse words—about 2 per minute. And we all know how pervasive cursing has become on television.
We are being exposed to more and more verbal pollution in the flow of the average day—even from places like the church pulpit and the church softball league bench. Potty mouth pulpits! Who would have thought?
I think it’s time to take a stand again, beginning with our own flippancy toward foul language. Here’s why:
1. It lowers the moral standards of our family. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34), which means that cursing exposes the condition of our inner person. It reveals that our hearts have grown sour and polluted with trashy words.
2. It degrades interpersonal relationships. It robs society of its civility. Used casually, cursing is just rude. When used on purpose, it’s derogatory and demeaning. Certain curse words even devalue what God created—like the divinely designed act of intercourse.
3. It sends a bad message to our children. It tells them that cursing within moderation is acceptable behavior. But as Christians, our spiritual transformation—our desire to be more like Christ—should affect our words.
Talk about your language and how you want your words to be remembered. Discuss where you stand in regard to swearing.
Pray for bad habits to be broken and for pure hearts that show themselves in clean, redemptive speech.