Clean Up Your Speech: the Bible Makes it Clear
Paul also gave us positive advice on how to use our words—not to curse—but to bless others. He wrote in Ephesians 4:29-30: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to the needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
The meaning of “unwholesome talk” is rather obvious. One of the purposes of our talk is to build others up—according to their needs. This implies that we know what their needs are. They may need comfort, guidance, encouragement, acceptance, approval or even loving rebukes. Can you imagine what our homes would be like if nothing but wholesome talk came out of our mouths?
When all is said and done the Bible makes it very clear that we should clean up our speech. Why? Because Jesus teaches that unclean words come from a dirty heart. Our light to the world is extinguished and no one sees Jesus in us (Matthew 15:10).
Jesus also says that our unclean words lead us into depravity and sin. Our Christian purity is flushed down the toilet.
So what should we do when it comes to cursing and swearing? We read the Bible often. God’s Words are like Ivory soap. They purify your heart and uplift your thoughts.
We filter our mouths and think and say wholesome and positive things.
We follow Paul’s advice, and experience peace and blessing.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9).
Well, David, thanks for asking such a timely and relevant question.
Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.
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