Watch your mouth!
“Cursing is contrary to resting on God’s promises for it is a failure to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments — to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40),” says Wellman. “When we curse an individual, we do not love people and when we curse God, we do not love Him. Thankfully, God forgives us of our sins through the redemption found only in Jesus Christ” (John 3:16).
“They follow not just a Shepherd and Savior, but also a Lord and Master,” writes Wellman. “When non-believers hear you swear, they are not hearing Christ, they are hearing compromise. ‘My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?’” (James 3:10-11).
What about the Christian who says, “I’m avoiding personal hypocrisy by swearing. Since I really think curse words in my mind, it would be hypocrisy for me not to say them with my mouth.” Hypocrisy is indeed a sin, agrees Pement, “but so is cursing” (Psalm 10:7, Romans 3:13-15).
Pement continues: Yes, hypocrisy is a species of deception, because though we appear clean on the outside (“whitewashed sepulchers”), inside we are full of corruption and sin. Since Christ calls us to be holy and pure both inside and outside, we are guilty of sin if we only do a halfway job.
“If you swear in order to avoid the sin of hypocrisy, you are not avoiding one sin but are actually committing a double sin, since you have trespassed in both thought and word together,” writes Pement. “And it’s worse than that: you have not only polluted your own mind and mouth, but polluted the mind of the listener as well. Open swearing does not help you avoid hypocrisy, it only multiplies your sin.”
Paul counseled young Timothy that he was to “set an example for the believers in speech, in life . . . and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Pement continues: Church leaders are to be “sober-minded, just, holy, and temperate.” Christians must “speak evil of no one,” but be “gentle, showing all humility to all men,” displaying “sound speech that cannot be condemned, [so] that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of us” (Titus 1:8, 3:2, 2:8). Furthermore, we are told, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29-30).
Years ago Christian musician Barry McGuire pointed out that Satan seeks to degrade the name of Jesus, dragging it into the mud, and so has turned Jesus’ name into a worldwide term of cursing. Even in India when people swear they curse by the name of Jesus—our God, not theirs. Hindus don’t say “Oh, Krishna” or “Oh, Buddha” when they swear: they curse using the name of Jesus Christ. Barry saw it as an ironic testimony to the truth of Christianity and the reality of the spiritual conflict it represents. If Jesus was just another religious prophet, why would other countries and even other religions use His name in their words of profanity?
James 1:26 is very clear: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
Swearing does not show “realness” or gutsy emotion, says Pement. ”Rather, it betrays a flaw in our ability to communicate sensitively and tastefully.