The Bane of Bad Language

J. D. Conley
September 14, 2014

Myriad are the sins of the world, (1Jn.5:19). But one of the most common and yet unrecognized of all sins, is the use of bad language. It seems that the majority of people see nothing wrong in using speech that the Bible condemns. Vulgarity and blasphemy is boundless and has so saturated every crevice of our culture that it is almost considered mainstream. Its overheard and used in every form of media and in every public place. The only place it is absent is in the confines of the church building. But whenever something becomes widely accepted by the world it will inevitably make inroads into the church. Therefore Christians must do all within their power to not only control their own language, but take a stand against bad language, i.e., use your gift of language to rebuke those who use bad language.

People who use bad language will sometimes justify it by saying, "words are just words, they can’t do any real harm.” But if someone berates them or curses at them, the words suddenly take on meaning. If cruel and coarse words are hurled at one of their loved ones then they feel the harm that's been inflicted. Words mean things and because they mean things they can be very destructive. The old adage "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me" is utterly false! Nothing can hurt a person as much as words can. An entire chapter in the book of James is devoted to the proper and improper use of the tongue. He says by inspiration that the tongue and its product, words, are like a fire, a world of iniquity in and of itself, an igniter of the fire of hell, untamable, an unruly evil, and full of deadly poison, (cf. Jas.3:6,8). How can someone make the claim "words are just words and can't do any real harm," when James says (among other things) that they burn and are poisonous?

May Christians also see that the bane of bad language is not restricted to curse words, vulgar words, coarse words, and blasphemy. One does not have to "curse like a sailor" to be guilty of using bad language. All that is necessary is the use of thoughtless, hateful, discouraging, deceptive speech. These and much more fall under the heading of baneful bad language. Regardless of how accepted bad language becomes in the world, the church of our dear Lord must not follow suit. Never forget these words of His, "...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Mt.12:36,37).