Has this ever happened to you? You see a very sharply dressed man or woman and your first impression is something like “Wow, there should be more people like him or her in this world!” Then, when they open their mouth and out comes a steady stream of profane and vulgar words, immediately your first impression of them changes dramatically. Am I overreacting or just simply being old-fashioned? Don’t we all know some friends, family members or loved ones who, other than being known for their salty words, are really very nice people? Is profanity really that big a deal and does the Bible say anything about it? Actually, there are many verses that address the issue but I’ll just use this one: Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (James 3:10)
First off, let me say that nobody will wind up in Heaven or Hell because of what they do or don’t do but rather because of who they are, and that includes profanity. Those who believe in and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior become God’s children and receive the promise of eternal life in Heaven. (See John 1:12) Those who don’t, miss out on Heaven altogether. A grandma can sport arm tattoos, smoke cigars, drive a Harley and curse, and if she does, that doesn’t mean she stops being a grandma. However, she may have a hard time convincing those who don’t know her that she’s someone’s grandmother. It is the same with profanity. If it is part of my daily vocabulary, I will have a hard time convincing those who don’t know me that I’m a minister of the gospel. In my early years as a Christian, a fellow worker walked up to me one day wanting to know how I managed to get others to listen to me when I shared my testimony. He said he’d been a Christian for years and even sang in his church’s choir. All the time he was talking to me, he had a cigarette hanging from his lip while many choice four letter words came out of his mouth. My answer to his question was “I don’t know.”
I believe using profanity is really not that big a deal, unless, of course, you want to win others to Christ, honor God, or make a positive difference in someone’s life. I also believe that the Lord can help anybody who wants to stop using it and wants to be different. In fact, I know for sure He can, because He did it with me.
Memory verse for the week: (Isaiah 41:10) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.