Language is probably the most powerful force known to man. The means of communication. The ability to express one’s thoughts, desires, and opinions; expressions which can mend relationships or start wars, create covenant or sever completely.
Language is a sacred trust given to mankind by God Almighty. It is so sacred, He connected a person’s spirit with their tongue; language’s instrument. People reveal the condition of their heart (spirit) through the words they speak.
Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:33-35 ESV)
Pastor James wrote, “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” (James 3:2-12 ESV)
Okay. We speak what our heart is full of. Language is the heart’s fruit. Our words can trip us up, or help us stand. They can bring peace and joy, or stress and anxiety.
Our language, the ability to communicate, must be considered a holy, sacred, and powerful gift; or we will misuse it and, possibly, abuse ourselves and others.
And then there’s the language labeled “adult language.” What is really meant by “adult language” is profanity! “Profane” is to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt. For instance, asking God to “damn someone, or something” is abusing the sacred gift we have. It is showing contempt toward the Creator of the gift of language.
Profanity doesn’t make anyone sound smarter, older, or more “hip”. Though it may be socially acceptable, it does not elevate people’s opinion of the “potty mouth”. And contrary to popular belief, profanity does not clear up traffic, or fix the television set.
There are plenty of words available, regardless of our native tongue, that we can use to express our strongest and deepest emotions; without needing to use profane words. It may take a bit of research and time to learn such words, but it’s worth the effort.
And why do people, even Christians who declare their love for Jesus, speak profanity? According to Jesus and James, it’s because there’s something spoiled, or rotting, in their heart.
Of course, not all profane words are four-letter words. Gossip and sarcasm’s only function is to “treat with abuse, irreverence, or contempt”
Like all bad habits, speaking profanity doesn’t just “go away” until one decides to do something about it. Maybe it’s time to start filling our heart with good words and good ideas, so our heart can begin to retrain our mouth!
Wouldn’t it be great if “adult language” started meaning something different than profanity?
Something like the language an “adult”, mature Christian would speak?
That’s the kind of language God intended us to use. Language that blesses, encourages, restores, creates hope, builds faith, and declares the glory of God.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NLT)