I’ve wondered sometimes about why swearing is “bad,” from a Biblical view. As a child, I was raised on the premise that the third commandment(Exodus 20:7) included a ban on all swear words. Therefore, of course, if it was prohibited in the ten commandments, it must be wrong. But after I actually read the Bible for myself, I discovered no such ban in that passage of scripture. Actually, the only place I found any sort of prohibition of such words is found in the New Testament, in the words of Paul:
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”–Colossians 3:8
So there it is. I found the evidence! Those conservative Baptists aren’t crazy after all. No swearing allowed. But is that the end of the story? We could just set a rule in place, and then when someone lets a filthy word slip, we could condemn them and feel better about ourselves. Although, that might fall into the “malice” category on our part. Can’t do that, now can we. What do we do with the rule then?
Jesus said, “The evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Following that statement, it makes sense that our words are a test of our heart. If we’re speaking curses, it means we’ve stored something evil inside. There’s a root of bitterness, resentment or pride, and we like it there. Cursing comes from a heart of hatred, and the solution is not to stop cursing but to change the heart.
What better to treasure in your heart than love! Who is love but God! With God in my heart, how can hate survive? I know this. I see it in my mind, the effects of my choices. There are consequences! It’s more than what I do. It’s who I am! Who will I be? Will I be love! Will I be a lover of the broken, of the hate-filled, of the murderously violent, of the people who hurt me, of the lazy and prideful? Salt, light, whatever you want to call it, we are it! We’re messengers, teachers, ministers, lovers, helpers, servants. We’re pastors, prophets, priests and princes. We have LIFE. Can we root out the curse and bless the world with unconditional blessing?
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”–Deuteronomy 30:19