Written by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who take His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word man may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37).
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).
At the beginning of a new year there is much talk about “resolutions.” I hope you have made resolutions to improve your life, and with this thought, I wanted to write about our speech as a resolution that we may not normally think about.
The above verses, and many others in the Bible, warn us about our speech not only in what we say but how we say it. James has much to say about the use of our tongue and shows that our words reveal our character (James 1:19, 26; 3:1-12). Speech is the index of the mind and heart. Some may use vulgar language because of a weak intelligence, thinking they cannot express themselves without using bad language. Yet the dictionary has thousands of good words we can use instead.
It is a bad, evil habit to curse, swear, use profanity, and use God’s name in vain. We should also be careful and guard against euphemisms as bywords and slang. Some who would not think of cursing, plainly use bywords that are closely akin to cursing.
Bad language is not only a bad evil habit, but is a sin against God and society. It is a bad example that can and should be stopped. Language is guarded when women or certain people are present, but remember God is always present and hears.
Our speech should be used in good ways to bless, praise, and glorify God and to be a blessing to our fellow human beings (1 Peter 3:15; 4:11).