Bad Language

For some time now, I have been increasingly aware of the proliferation of ‘bad’ language. I am troubled by the wide acceptance of profanity, obscenity, and vulgarity in our everyday conversations. You hear it on TV, in the movies, in music, at the office, in the stores, on school grounds, and even in churches. I cannot help but wonder what has happened to our society that curse words are so acceptable these days. Children are learning to swear at an earlier age. Timothy Jay, a noted psychology professor, suggests that the rise in profanity among children is not surprising, given the general rise in the use of swearing among adults since the 1980’s.

Perhaps you have some acquaintances like I do whose speech is peppered with language so foul that you cringe. What seemed to be the exception in the past is now commonplace. An old idiom seems to sum up my feelings about people who use profane language: “He’s a manure salesman with a mouthful of samples”.

Many years ago, my wife and I worked regularly in Jamaica at a boy’s home for orphaned or abandoned boys. Anthony, one of the boy’s there, won our hearts. He has become a part of our family. He is grown now and has a son named Roy Nick. One day, Anthony and Roy Nick were taking a walk. They had stopped to rest and were sitting on a bamboo bench. An acquaintance of Anthony came by and sat down. During the conversation, the man used several “bad words”. Roy Nick leaned forward and said to the man, “Don’t you see me? You are not supposed to use words like that around a little boy.” Even at his early age, Roy Nick intuitively knew the destructive nature of such language.

God’s word is clear, such language is unacceptable! It is more than a bad habit. It is destructive and lowers the moral climate around us. Hear a few of the things God’s word says;

  • “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:4, ESV)
  • “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7, ESV)
  • “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6, ESV)
  • The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45, ESV)
  • “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.” (Proverbs 10:32, ESV)
  • If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26, ESV)

Prayer: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

~ Brother Roy

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