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Cussing! A Bad Habit!

I've been having problems with my Christian friends. It seems as though they haven't been acting very Christian-like. Do you have any verses that talk about cussing being a bad habit? I've read James 3 but they have all manipulated the verses. Can you help me find another verse that deals with this issue?

So, let me get this straight…your “Christian” friends like to cuss, you quoted James 3 to them, and they manipulated it and justified their cussing? That sounds like about what I’d expect them to do.

“In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.” – James 3:5-6

Basically, what this verse is saying is that if the tongue is used to verbally tear down, destroy or desecrate (which is what foul language does to the dignity of the human person and to humanity, in general) than it is a sign that not only the tongue, but its owner are motivated by sin, that is, the devil.

Jesus don’t play that way.But your friends wanted to argue that point and play with words, huh? You want another verse? Share this one with them…

“No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” - Ephesians 4:29

And this one…

“But now you must put away anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. - Colossians 3:8

We could go on and on about the importance of holiness in our speech…

People with foul mouths are disregarded throughout Scripture. When you use irreverent language, everything else you say begins to get tainted. Even if you have great things to say, people won’t listen the same way:

“For someone will say, "His letters are severe and forceful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” - 2 Cor. 10:10

Cussing isn’t impressive or manly, it’s immature and idiotic. If the only way they can exert their “maturity” is through word and not action, they are more like idiots than Christians…a true Christian exercises self-control (2 Tim. 1:7). If they’re just weak or do it out of peer pressure or habit, pray for them. If they’re doing it because they think nothing is wrong with it, boy are they in for a surprise when they meet Jesus. In either case, you’re right to rebuke them for it (Luke 17:3). Always be sure, though, to do it with love.

Plenty of other places in the Scriptures talk about language and its importance, too:

“…sound speech that cannot be criticized…” - Titus 2:8.

"A man who has the habit of abusive language will never mature in character as long as he lives.” - Sirach 23:15

“Let your speech always be gracious, so that you know how you should respond to each one.” - Colossians 4:6

And lastly, the Second Commandment of “not taking the Lord’s name in vain” actually speaks to far more than just the typical “Gd” or “JC” phrases. Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain, in the mind of God is the same as saying, “Thou shalt be reverent in your speech.” To be reverent means to be uplifting in your speech and conduct, to maintain an attitude of deep respect, love, and awe for the sacred.

If someone feels as though they can (as my Grandma used to call it) have a “potty mouth”, use foul language, degrade others verbally, tear others down with words and drop “F” bombs at will, and still call themselves a Christian (which means “little Christ”), they are absolutely mistaken.

“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.” - 1 Timothy 4:12

Teens with foul mouths aren’t shocking or impressive. Teens who refuse to fall into that trap…now, that is impressive. I’m proud of you for not backing down on this. Keep the faith and speak up for Christ.


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