Should Christians be Using Foul Language?

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Should Christians use any kind of foul language? Is it wrong to use substitute words for curse words??

Why Use Profanity?

Should Christians use any kind of foul language? Is it wrong to use substitute words for curse words? The Bible is clear that words do matter. How we say things is important because our words reflect on us and on God. Foul language may be something Christians skim over, but when we use foul language, what kind of example are we setting to those around us? Do we really sound like Christians when we use profanity?

Foul Language

We all hear foul language from time to time, and for many people, we have become completely desensitized to their language, or at least some foul language from others. Some people consider profanity only to be taking the Lord’s name in vain because it violates the third commandment. Some find that they‘ll only use cuss words that appear in the Bible, but others find substitutes for well-known curse words to cover their vulgar language. In other cases, foul language to one person may not be foul to another. Words that offend or cause hurt or harm can be just as foul as the most recognizable cuss words, so it’s best we avoid this altogether.

The Third Commandment

The third commandment shows us just how much God’s holy name matters. We cannot show God’s love and then trivialize or insult Him by using His name inappropriately. Names are important to each of us and God’s name is important to Him. By using His name properly, we give God the respect He deserves, so where is this commandment in the Bible? We find it in Exodus 20:7 where it says, “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.”

Why This Commandment’s Important

How would you feel if your name suddenly became part of a curse word? God gives us this commandment because He knows that using His name is an important part of our relationship with Him. Some Bible versions use the word vain in this particular verse, “you shall not use the Lord’s name in vain,” meaning we shouldn’t use it carelessly or without thought. Inherent in the definition for misuse is to be abusive or mistreat something. We show God great disrespect when we misuse His name.

What This Commandment Means Today

Our names matter. They’re part of our identity. Otherwise, we’d just know each other as just another person, and our last names give us family roots and a connection to our ancestry. Our first names demonstrate our individuality. God’s name gives Him an identity. When we pray to God, we’re not praying to anyone else, so His name matters. When we treat His name with respect, we show God respect. Too often we allow people around us to misuse God’s name because it’s become part of their everyday language, but putting God in front of a curse word or using Jesus’ name when something shocking or painful happens is like treating His name carelessly or uselessly (in vain). God deserves more than that. This commandment is so easily overlooked, and some dismiss it as less important, but loving God and respecting God and His name is always important.

Miss-using His Name

Remember, our faith is what’s so great about our relationship with God. What people call us does matter, so what we call God matters, too. When we use God’s name properly and with respect, we’re opening ourselves up to a proper relationship with God. We’re called to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind…but how are we doing that if we’re misusing God’s name? God’s name is good, and we need to treat it that way. God’s name also holds power, and to misuse His name is to diminish it. We pray in Jesus’ name, and call on God over and over, yet, why do we insist on using Jesus’ name in all the wrong ways?

Living the Third Commandment

● Think first. The easiest way to misuse God’s name is to not think before we speak. It’s not always easy, but it’s the best way to keep ourselves from being prone to violating this commandment.

● Take it one step at a time. If using God’s name in the wrong way is a habit, take a step back and work on eliminating it from your vocabulary. You can designate another word as a substitute and slowly work your way away from the misuse.

● Call out others. It’s not always easy to confront friends, but it’s not respectful of your faith if they’re misusing God’s name in front of you. Don’t be afraid to ask others to stop.Bible Verses About Anger

Causes of Foul Language

Foul language usually comes out of being in some kind of frustrating situation, but it can also be part just of the local vernacular. Some people don’t even realize a word is a curse word until they live outside their home towns because it is just part of daily life, yet for most people, they slip into using foul language in situations that make them angry, frustrated, or disappointed. Sometimes they’re used to adding gravitas to a confrontation or even to show off. Many teens fall into the habit of using foul language to try and sound more like an adult, but sometimes their vulgar language is used to hurt others by demeaning or diminishing them.

Why Foul Language an Issue

Some believe words are just words, so foul language means very little, yet the Bible tells us that words do matter. We should not speak out of anger or speak rashly, but God reminds us that we need to think about what we say because it does have an impact on others. Few people will tell you that words don’t hurt because they do. They also matter when we’re trying to be God’s light to the world. What kind of example are we setting when about every other word out of our mouths involves some sort of vulgarity? There are alternative ways to express ourselves without offending God or others. When we use the Lord’s name in vain, we’re showing Him a great deal of disrespect. It may seem like just words, but it shows carelessness and disrespect to God.

Breaking the Foul Language Habit

God asks us to lift each other up, not bring each other down. When we use foul language we do little to honor those around us. We often use words to cut one another down, but we draw attention to the darker sides of ourselves versus the light of God when we do this. If you find yourself falling into a habit of using curse words, here are some things you can do to stop:

● Identify when you swear the most. Knowing your triggers helps you identify when the temptation to use foul language is greatest. Next time you hear yourself swearing, try to identify what caused it.

● Listen to how others express their frustrations. Not everyone uses curse words. Try to listen next time someone is frustrated. See how they express their frustrations without using foul language. Get others to help you realize when your vocabulary takes a turn for the worse and make you accountable.

● Study your vocabulary. Sometimes we use foul language because we just don’t know how else to describe a situation. Learning new words and ways to say things can open up your vocabulary enough that foul language isn’t necessary.

● Use a substitute word. Habits can be hard to break but language can be broken by substituting a good thing for a bad thing. Try using an odd word in place of a bad word. The more ridiculous it sounds, the more likely you’ll break the habit.

● Create consequences and rewards. Some people have a “swear word” penalty box at home or work and every time they use profanity, they have to put some money in a box (the funds can be used for charity). Others use rubber bands on their wrists to snap when the curse words come out of their mouth. Still others find positive reinforcement more effective, and they give themselves rewards when they go for some time without cursing.

● Forgive yourself. Realize that you’re not perfect so there’ll be times when you’ll slip up, so we need to learn to forgive ourselves and try again. Breaking the habit of using foul language isn’t easy, but it can be done.

Author’s Bio: Bianca J. Ward used to be a divorce coach, but now she is a professional essay writer at Essay Writer Free where she provides people with qualified works. She is also a passionate photographer and world traveler, having visited 52 countries around the globe. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.

Here is some related reading for you: Christian Swearing and Sear Words: A Lesson on Guarding Your Tongue

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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