We hear bad words every day. On TV, in the movies, at the store...everywhere. I have heard them spoken by God fearing people and by people who could care less about God.
I have been told...
- They are just words.
- They are just words to better express how we feel.
- Bad words are bad words only to the people who think they are bad. (???)
- You say shoot instead of sh_t, so how is that any better?
And that brings up another question. What makes bad words okay to use to express your feelings? Is it only bad when directed at someone else?
When you use bad words to insult someone, yes, that is terrible. You should never say things to hurt another person...with or without bad words. But how about using bad language when you hurt yourself and are angry? You are just expressing yourself, right? But why isn't it okay to just say ouch?
I don't really have any answers to all my questions, but I do know what the scriptures say about the words I speak.
- May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
- Keep your mouth free of perversity (corrupt, improper); keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:24
- ...the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful in building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
- Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. Brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:10
I know these scriptures don't necessarily directly talk about bad words, but I think that when they mention perversity and corrupt talk, bad words would be included. But these scriptures also imply that gossip and slander would also be included and I know I have been guilty of that. I don't always build up others as I should. Sometimes I can be critical, when in reality I have my open problems I should deal with.
None of us are perfect and we will never be. We will always miss the mark. We do have God's grace and mercy to cover us and heal us. But that doesn't give us license to keep on doing wrong that grace may abound. We need to watch the words we say, using them to build others up, encouraging those around us.
What are your thoughts about bad words?