‘Go Ahead and Use Some Profanity’

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Several years ago a friend of mine was being transported by ambulance for treatment at an emergency room. He was suffering with intense pain. One of the attendants on the ambulance, as he sensed my friend’s discomfort, suggested to him, “Go ahead and use some profanity.” He assured my friend this would make him feel better.

Today’s society is more accepting of profanity than perhaps ever before. It has not been many years ago that honorable men would refrain from using crude language in the presence of women. Now both men and women freely use profane and filthy language, even in public.

We find in the Scriptures many warnings relative to the danger of inappropriate language (cursing, profanity, etc.). The following is a sampling:

• “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:11). 

• “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

• “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

• “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place” (Ephesians 5:4).

• “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).

You and I need to be conscientious regarding abstaining from using inappropriate language. Jesus cautioned, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The Psalmist David prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). One writer commented on this verse, “David closed this glorious psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did but also of what he said and thought in his heart.

Theodore Roosevelt wisely stated, “Profanity is the parlance of the fool. Why curse when there is such a magnificent language with which to discourse.”

Bruce Ligon
Bellville Church of Christ
Bellville, TX

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