For the past couple weeks, my heart has repeatedly returned to thoughts about the words we use. Before I surrendered my life to Christ, I used very vulgar language; today, even though I used those words, I cringe when I hear them. My heart literally aches to hear those words because I am reminded of the number of times I used them. Many Christians don't think too much about the words they use, but God's Word says we will be judged on every idle word we speak. Why is that? Why should a few words be so important?
Let me first state that when I was a young Christian, I knew several men who were deacons, ushers and elders at the church I was attending. I also had an opportunity to be around these men outside of church while they were doing their jobs. These men cursed like sailors, and it truly bothered me. I kept thinking that if they spoke that way around non-Christians or people outside our church, those people would wonder about the purity of their salvation or the integrity of our church. To this day, I think of those men using that language and it causes my heart to break.
We are reminded in the writings of Paul and Peter to be careful what we speak; we're reminded that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Think about it: God created the entire universe and almost everything in it simply by SPEAKING the word! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead by SPEAKING the word. So powerful are words that Jesus had to be certain to call Lazarus by name or every single corpse in that cemetery would have risen from the dead and walked out of their tombs. Go back and read about the many miracles Jesus performed: the raising of the dead, the healing of the sick, etc.: in almost every single instance Jesus SPOKE the miracle into existence. The Bible tells us, in several places, all we need to do is SAY THE WORD and it will be done as we have said. What we say has eternal consequences!
But, even beyond that, what we say in front of non-believers can have other consequences. If a non-believer hears us profess our salvation and in the next breath hears us cursing, what will they think of our Christianity? Although I don't truly believe in a hierarchy for the "badness" of words, for the sake of argument let's classify some as minor and some as major. The main 2 "major" words would be the F word and the GD phrase. Even using the so-called "minor" curse words will bring negative perceptions, but to use the other two in front of non-believers will most definitely cause them to rethink our commitment to Christ.
Paul told us to beware of causing a new Christian to stumble. Using this type of language will most definitely cause not only the unbeliever to question but will cause baby Christians to stumble. We must all be careful what we say, and not just in church or around other believers, but most especially when we're out in the world. Let's represent Jesus in the best possible light!