Is Cussing Okay?

Josh Mors

In my daily walk with Christ, I’ve observed people swear constantly. I see this actively in movies, TV shows, video games, etc. Is it okay as a follower of Jesus Christ to use such derogatory language?
I recall back when I was in middle school with people who claimed to be Christians and used vulgar language. Many people that I know, even today, are still swearing and have been swearing since middle school, all the while claiming they are a follower of Christ. I knew it was wrong based on the biblical research I have done. I came to the conclusion that when you swear you aren’t glorifying God, at all. We as Christians are taught to be different from the world, and being different means not being of this world. Let us take a quick look at what the Bible says about swearing.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. “- Ephesians 4:29
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” – Ephesians 5:4
Many people make an assumption and say that it’s alright to swear as long as you’re not insulting others by using the derogatory language. This lead’s back to my original question. Does swearing glorify God when you do so? We need to ponder what we say before we say it. If you are someone who uses this derogatory language then ask God for forgiveness, and make sure you don’t do it again.

Text Woman 2

Mike Pyatt Jr.

I’m going to answer this question by first saying no, but I’ll give you a quick reason why I try not to curse anymore…
It’s all about emotions. When I was younger, my adolescent years, boy, did I curse a lot. It usually happened when I had difficulty expressing my feelings, rather it was anger, sadness, frustration, and even happiness, ironically. Of course I didn’t curse around my family, except for when I had difficulties controlling my feelings. Notice, this time I said “control” my feelings when it came to family instead of “expressing” them.
At school, I wanted to curse, simply because there really wasn’t anything anybody could do about it. At home, I didn’t want to curse, but there were times when my anger and rage became so extreme that I let it out. Unfortunately, I haven’t completely been able to control that. My sister made me mad last year, and I cursed for the first time in years. It crushed me and I haven’t cursed since, but I still feel it.
So yes, I don’t think Christians should curse. I could use a lot of Bible verses to illustrate this, but let Proverbs 16:24 simmer in your heart:
“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Jon Hill

“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” – James 3:7-12
As Christ-followers, we are required to hold ourselves to the highest standard (being the example Jesus gave us with his life) and we are accountable for the words that fly out of our mouths. The things we say, no matter who is listening, are a direct reflection of what we have inside of us. It’s like burping with your spirit. It’s easy to cuss. Foul language is simple. Not using it takes discipline. Being ambassadors of Christ to the world, it’s our responsibility to do our best in outwardly representing Him at all times. This is a tall order, but reflecting Jesus with your words is our responsibility and being reponsible shows spiritual maturity.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” – Ephesians 4:29
Be intentional in your speech. Be deliberate with your phrases. Speak life to others with love and positivity and people will begin to experience Jesus through you and you’ll experience peace in becoming a stronger and more mature dwelling for Jesus.

Ralphie

Bryan Conard

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12
I once knew a man who was very surly. He was a rough man with a difficult life and a hard background. He was invited to church and had began to come regularly. I was excited to see God work in his life. However, this man’s foul mouth was always an issue. He would hardly hesitate to tell a racy joke immediately after church, while still in the building, and as soon as he got outside he could cuss up a storm. He thought that God didn’t care how we spoke or what we talked about as long as we weren’t “too bad” otherwise.
Without much exception I believe that most Christians, and even many non-Christians, would find this man’s behavior a bit tactless to say the least, but do some of us agree with this man’s basic idea? I’ve met many other people who aren’t nearly as vulgar as the man I mentioned, who claim to be Christians, but still cuss occasionally. Some people might be better than others, but only by so many degrees, like a shade of grey is brighter than black.
“Our only line of defense is the sense that / I’m not as half as bad as this friend of mine so I must be fine / We mean well don’t we?” – Jimmy Needham
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Jesus (Matthew 5:14)
There is good Biblical backing to say that Christians should watch how we speak. It can be proven in both concept and by direct statements throughout scripture.
Conceptually, we are to be a beacon of hope and a representation of Christ to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). The very word “Christian” means “follower of Christ,” and as we follow Him we are to strive to be more like Him (1 Corinthians 11:1). It would be a crude misrepresentation of who Jesus is for Christians to speak perversely because Jesus did not do so. We are to be holy, clean of the world’s sin and vice, just as God is holy.
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15 – 16
Those who may believe that the Bible is lax in its teachings on how we should speak are mistaken. There are many passages which let it be known that God is very concerned with many of the ways we conduct ourselves and how we speak is most definitely important. How we speak is one of the greatest indicators of where we are in our spiritual walk with God (Matthew 12:34), and there are many passages which specifically state that we are to keep our speech in check.
“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.” – Ephesians 4:29
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” – James 1:26
Similar Scriptures: James 3:3 – 12, Matthew 12:34 – 37
We must be careful how we represent ourselves lest we pollute our Christian testimony and present the world with a distorted image of who Christ is.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
― Brennan Manning (also DcTalk)

Wesley Wood

Since everyone else tackled whether cussing is okay or not, I will tackle what cussing even is. First off, there is no way for the Bible to have a list of cuss words. These vary from culture to culture and change over time. While we are aware of most of the words in our own culture today, for me or anyone else to try to name them all would simply be foolish. So what is cussing then?
Jesus taught that what comes out of a man’s mouth is proof of what is in his heart (Luke 6:45). The go-to verse is Ephesians 4:29 as you have seen above from the other writers. While they all used different translations of the Bible, the meaning comes out the same. Demeaning an individual with a phrase or word can be considered cussing. Words are powerful and contain more of a punch than we realize. While telling someone they are an idiot (with expletives) seems like it is not the same as just calling them a fool, it is.
The meaning behind the word is what matters. Calling someone an imbecile seems clean enough. It is socially acceptable after all. The world is always on point about what is right and wrong after all… not. 
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”James 3:9-12
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;” – 1 Peter 3:10
My personal opinion of cussing is that you come across as someone who lacks intelligence. Simply put, no one wants to hear four letter words used as a method to describe something.

 

What do you think? Is cussing okay?

Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

7 Comments

  1. Nikko on March 25, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Excellent article with plenty of Biblical references. Thank you for this!

  2. Debra Ehrhart on March 20, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I’ll agree cussing is bad. It makes us look bad, it sounds bad, and it is in no way honoring God. My problem is even if you get rid of the curse words there’s always going to be words used to express how we feel. For example I’ll use a story I was told about: In order not to cuss a boy decided to use the word(s) peanut butter to express himself when he was upset. It worked for a while but then teachers and staff at the school got wind of it due to others also using the word. Eventually the word(s) peanut butter got banned from school deemed a bad word. So how do we decide what is right and wrong to use to express anger, frustration, hurt feelings, etc.?

    • Lawrence on March 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      thats very true, I Suppose just making sure the words we use don’t appear wrong to others. The kids idea is good for a Tempor solution and a starting point but when we use a substitute we generally just cover the issue of swearing and not actually resolve it. But then there is still how should we respond which is difficult to know. I believe that’s something we need to decide for ourselves and always think about as to how it looks to others and if it’s something we believe Jesus himself would say. Not everything in the bible is simply black and white there are something’s we need to ask ourselves if it’s what Jesus would do.

  3. Lawrence on March 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I dont see how at anytime swearing can advance the kingdom of God sure you can say “God is f-ing awesome” but what will our swearing look like to others nomatter the context? We are called to be set apart (psalm 4:3) and not comform (Romans 12:2) to the things of this world. We are told to abstain froM even the apearance of evil (“1 Thessalonians 5:22 (kjv) Abstain from all appearance of evil”.) so whether it is wrong or not if others believe it may be then we should be avoiding it because of how it looks to others.

  4. Trevor on March 19, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I rember my greek professor discussing swearing (and language in general) and the church. He said it wasn’t an issue of the words that were said, but how those words affected the Kingdom of God and our representation of Christ. He put it like this, “If swearing helps advance the kingdom, then swear like a sailor. The language mindset shouldn’t be “how close can I get to the ‘limit'” but rather “how is this affecting the Kingdom.” I find myself in complete agreement with his statent. In some ways, refraining from swearing can be a good wittnessing tool because others notice that you are doing something against a percieved societal norm. Yet on the other side of the coin, there are some who percieve this lack of swearing as a point of disconnect between the christian and the non-christian. I feel we (myself included) are too quick to deem a person not a “good christian” if they swear, and yet it could be those very words that enable that person to relate the gospel to those outside the church. Kendrick Lamar is a good example of this. He has a relationship with God, yet continues to swear in his music. To some, it may seem like a strong disconnect, yet I have seen people be more responsive to his honesty about his struggles with the Lord than they are to many church sermons. Ultimately, it’s about thinking of the consequences of one’s actions/words

    • Wesley Wood on March 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Use Biblical proof to back up the claim that cussing at anytime is okay. As Christians we will need to explain to God why we did, what we did. He will judge us all.

      • Trevor on March 19, 2015 at 8:54 pm

        It isn’t that cussing is ok anytime, it’s asking yourself, “is what i’m saying advancing the kingdom of God, and if so in what contexts?” We must learn to tame our tongues, and within the practice of taming comes an understanding of how, when, and what to say. As mentioned above, a snarky “i’ll pray for you” can be far more damaging than an “F what others think about you. It’s what God thinks about you that’s important” now again, it all depends on context. To some the statement above may be incredibly encouraging, and to others the explicative may undermine the point. I can remember hearing of a new christian saying “God is so f-ing cool” because he was so amazed at God and the only way he knew how to express his feelings strong enough was with the explicative. Now was that man sinning by saying that? Personally, I think not.

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