Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Thine O Lord"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. (NKJV)
We watch a fair number of English mystery shows on television, and some of them start out with the warning: "This show contains coarse language and scenes of violence. Viewer discretion is advised."
They warn us, so that we are prepared. But the fact of the matter is that over the years, it has become such an accepted fact that people in all walks of life use coarse language, language that we did not hear from a lot of people years ago. Now, even commercials have swear words in them, and it really bothers me. Good books contain words that we never use. It has become so acceptable, it seems. I think that there is a difference, though, between "coarse language" and "swearing". A lot of people use the Lord's name in vain and others, even Christians, use coarse language.
The Bible tells us, first of all, not to use the Lord's name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (NKJV)
Paul tells the people in Ephesus not to use inappropriate language: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth." (Ephesians 4:29a NKJV) He also tells them, "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting." (Ephesians 5:4 NKJV)
Jesus Himself touched on this subject. "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Matthew 15:11 NKJV)
I did some research as to why people swear or use coarse language. Some young people do it because it is "cool". Others do it because they grew up with it. Some people figure that it gives more emphasis to what they say.
It is a touchy thing to admonish those who use coarse language. When people use Jesus' name in vain, some Christians use the occasion as a witnessing opportunity, asking the other person why they would talk about their best Friend that way. When people I know use what I consider inappropriate language, I will ask them if it is really necessary to talk that way. In any case, we first need to be careful about what comes out of our own mouths, and then to ask the Lord for wisdom to know how to deal with other people's language.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we ask that You will give us the strength and the ability to talk to people who use Your name in vain. May the Holy Spirit use our efforts to aid them in changing their way of talking. Amen.