By: Steve Shirley
Swearing is a sin that a great deal of Christians fail to think about. They see it as a small sin or fail to see it as sin at all and some believe the Bible does not address it, so it must not be that bad. While the Bible may not call it swearing or cussing, it does call it evil, filthy, or corrupt communication, or evil speaking. We are clearly told these are sin. What comes out of our mouth is what is in our heart.
Swearing ruins our witness to others. There is a great story I heard about this. A pro football player was an outspoken Christian and everyone knew of his faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, when he was on the field, he would swear at and taunt opposing players. During one of the games, after he had done this, he heard one opposing player say to another, "I thought this guy was supposed to be a Christian." After he heard this, he realized his language on the field was destroying his Christian witness. From that moment on he stopped swearing. Peter also realized swearing might make people believe he was not a follower of Christ. In (Matt 26:74)(Mk 14:71), when he was denying Christ, he was asked if he was one of Christ's disciples and he "cursed and swore" to make them believe he wasn't.
Clearly, another rampant sin in this area is taking the Lord's name in vain. Saying, "Oh my ---" is not even seen as committing this horrible sin. Rarely can you watch any t.v. show now without hearing this uttered. Taking the Lord's name in vain (The 3rd Commandment) is to use it as a swear word, to use it falsely in an oath, or the most common use today, to use it frivolously or with no real purpose. It shows a lack of respect for God and His holy name. A term for this is blasphemy. God does not take it lightly. In the Old Testament it was punishable by death (Lev 24:10-16).
Let us always speak in a way that brings honor and glory to the name of our Lord. A good verse to remember is (Ps 19:14) "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
(Eph 4:29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
(Col 3:8) But now ye also put off all of these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
(1 Pet 3:10) For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
(Ps 34:13) Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
(James 1:26) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain.
(1 Pet 2:1) Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings.
(1 Cor 15:33) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
(James 3:8-10) But the tongue can no man tame; it is unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (9) Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (10) Out of the same mouth procedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
(Lev 22:32) Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you,