Ever since I decided to chop my relaxed hair and go natural, I’ve learned and cared more about hair care. I’m not a hair person, but lately I’ve been educating myself through Youtube videos. Youtube has been indispensable trying to wade through all of the different hair types, hair care regimens, and endless products.
Recently, I found this awesome Youtube channel on natural hair care. This Youtuber was very knowledgeable regarding hair care and the science behind her hair care tips. What really set her apart from other channels however, was her incredible sense of humor. The ingenious way she delivered her hair care wisdom was funny and entertaining. It fully explains her thousands of subscribers. What’s more this lady had a realness that made her relatable and a sincerity that was refreshing. She even posted Scripture in the beginning of her videos and spoke about God in more than one of those videos.
There was just one problem which kept me from hitting the “subscribe” button. The cursing. It crept in slowly at first. A curse word here. An expletive there. A few videos later and I was being bombarded left and right. In one video the host talked about God one minute and cursed the next.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m being legalistic and judgmental. Maybe, but sadness came over me as I pressed stop on the final video I would be watching. I related to her immensely because I used to be like her. I was worse than her. I used to cuss like a sailor. My cursing was so bad, I can clearly remember going to church and the moment I left the church building cursing. I claimed to be a Christian, yet I cursed like a demon. I cursed nearly without conscience, with impunity, and was defensive towards anyone who had a problem with it. On occasion I encountered people who didn’t curse, but I regarded them as some might perceive me now–as stiff, snooty, and condescending.
It seems like such a petty thing to be sensitive about. Who doesn’t curse or say the occasional swear word? It’s a pervasive part of our society. Its in our movies and tv shows. Many of our celebrities are notorious for it. Not to mention our family and friends around us. The question isn’t who doesn’t curse, but rather who shouldn’t curse. The answer to that is simple. Christians shouldn’t curse.
For the why not, we can start with what the Bible says. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:29, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Further down in Ephesians 5:4, it says, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you…”
The book of James speaks extensively about the dangers of our tongue, likening it to a flame of fire capable of setting our lives on fire if not controlled (James 3).
James 3:8-10, “…but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.”
James ends Chapter 3 with more conviction driving home his point.
James 3:11-12, “Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”
What James is saying is that our speech is a reflection of what’s in our hearts. Jesus even confirms this Luke 6:45 when he says, “What you say flows from what is your heart.”
When I began cursing as a child, I did so because there was anger, wrath, and all kinds of sin in my heart. Even though a part of me was ashamed of my cursing, I was helpless to stop myself. It wasn’t until I repented of what was in my heart and asked God to cleanse me that I was able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to stop. At the end of the day, cursing is indicative of a heart issue that needs to be addressed by the Holy Spirit if we will allow him to.
Sanctification is a life-long process that requires God’s grace, not just to be delivered from sin, but also to walk in the freedom we gain. As we are conformed to the image of Christ, his light shines through us ever the brighter.
Which leads me back to another important reason why Christians shouldn’t curse. We are God’s ambassadors in this dark world. Just like the lady with her thousands of Youtube subscribers, we have influence–either for God’s glory, or for Satan’s. Though it may not be thousands, those around us are watching us. God is making his appeal to the world through us and with that kind of divine influence comes an awesome responsibility. We persuade those around us by being different. Different than what is shown on tv. Different from what we typically encounter in the public square. We should think, speak, look, and behave differently than what is accepted as the norm or the status quo. Our differences mark us as Christians.
2 Corinthians 5:14, “Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.”
As our world’s grows darker and more people’s loyalties become divided, greater disparities between what people claim they believe and how they live will emerge. It becomes even more imperative then that Christians are consistent in their Christian walk. Just as we can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring or pick oranges from an apple tree, we can’t say that God has renewed our minds and hearts making us new creations, yet there be no reflection of these changes in how we speak.