I was sitting with a few Christians the other day, enjoying conversation and sharing the sweetness of God, when in the middle of a perfectly good sentence, one of the people I was talking with…cussed.
My jaw dropped. Then another person sitting with us climbed on board…repeating the language as if nothing was wrong. I was stunned. Shaking my head as I walked away, I’m sure they sensed my disapproval.
What happened to the pursuit of holiness in our Christian walk and in our conversations? Have we become so comfortable in our salvation and in our perception of God’s grace that we have forgotten about His judgment? Has our felt need to be seen as “real” and “relevant” become our priority and so now we are irreverent to the Holy Spirit of God? How can such ugly words come from the same mouth that brings forth praise?
I’m disappointed in us. Ungodly language is more and more widespread in churches and few Christians are disturbed by a growing population of believers who have abandoned biblical instruction and the pursuit of holiness. And abandoned it they have… because no matter how commonplace profanity is, as Christians, the Bible tells us to be sanctified and set apart from the world.
Praise leaders, teachers and pastors alike are “fitting in” to a society that is increasingly irreverent. We are Christians, not Chameleons, changing colors to blend into our surroundings. We are to be lights in the world, noticed, and set apart, through our actions AND our words. We can and should, make our points clear without using profanity. Matthew Henry said, “Filthy words proceed from corruption in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such discourse. It is our duty to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring persons to think seriously, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation.”
You see, whether we live aware of it our not, we are the face AND THE VOICE of Christ to the world and it is our actions that persuade or dissuade people toward God. What one says, we all say. We represent God and when we speak to others without seasoning our words with grace to honor the Lord, we have wasted those words and misrepresented our Holy Father.
Even the occasional and so called “harmless” little words discourage unbelievers from Christ and there is nothing harmless about that. The Word of God tells us to “…gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy. (1st Peter 1:13-16)
Being good disciples of Jesus Christ demands disciplined and intentional conversation.
Ephesians 4:29, it says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. Our words should be:
- Edifying. It should result in building up the hearers.
- Appropriate. It should be suitable to the occasion.
- Gracious. It should impart grace to the hearers.
- Honest and integral. It should be clean and true.
And that’s the truth. It doesn’t change because we desire be “cool.” It doesn’t relent because want to hip and modern.
“…may the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight”
Maybe I’m just old fashioned… maybe I’m making a big deal of nothing. But if God is so meticulous as to instruct us that our words should hold forth the word of life which draws unbelievers into His body, (Romans 1:16) and to warn us that we will give account for EVERY IDLE WORD that we speak, is cussing still harmless? Is it still nothing?
hmmm….what would Jesus say?