Some Christians have potty mouths. Maybe I should say, some “so-called Christians” have potty mouths.
Before you get mad and quit reading, I do not mean that anyone who has a potty mouth isn’t a Christian. But some, who may think they’re a Christian because of their church attendance, good deeds, political party, or any other activity which may give them that “Oh, I’m so good” feeling, are not only sadly mistaken, but have become self deceived.
So what is a Christian?
The term, “Christian”, was first used to describe the group of Christ followers in Antioch.
“…And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26 NASB)
The DISCIPLES were called Christians. A disciple is a learner, a student, a pupil. A disciple of Christ is a student of, one who learns from, Christ Jesus. Disciples of Jesus not only have placed their faith in Him as their Savior, but have also accepted His command to “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
The gospel (good news) is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). It is the gospel of deliverance, forgiveness of sins, the new birth, and eternal life.
It was never meant to merely be a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card; one that’s presented to Saint Peter at the appropriate time.
The gospel has always been, in God’s mind, and in the mind of the New Testament writers, the means by which the whole human race no longer has to be separated from their Creator God. No longer does sin’s nature need to dominate mankind. Through faith in Jesus, the Sole Focus of the gospel, the believer is translated from one kingdom to the other. The kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
And since there’s only two kingdoms, spiritually speaking, it’s imperative for everyone to hear, and obey, the gospel.
So a Christian is a disciple, a follower of Christ, an adherent to the gospel of Jesus. Not perfect, but through faith and obedience inherits His promises, is endued with His power, and allows His Presence to fill them so His fragrance and favor flow through them into the dark, depraved world.
That’s how I came in contact with the gospel. Someone, a disciple of Jesus, a Christian, brought me the good news of Jesus. But not so much in what he said. He didn’t know a whole lot at that time, because he was such a new believer. But he knew Jesus. His Presence, His fragrance and favor, oozed out of my friend and captured my heart.
If he’d had a potty mouth, I wouldn’t have wanted what he had.
A potty mouth does not present Christ to the world. They cannot be following Christ, for Jesus does not talk in such a manner.
A person doesn’t have to use swear words to be a potty mouth. But I’ve noticed this about Christians; if they’ll gossip, or speak about someone in a demeaning and hateful manner, they’ll probably use vulgarity as well.
If a person doesn’t set a guard over their mouth, you can expect to hear just about anything every time they open it.
Christian, if you are determined to follow the Lord, do something about your mouth.
You may say, “I just can’t help it. After all, Pastor James said, ‘No one can tame the tongue.’”
That’s PARTLY what he said. Here’s the rest…
“Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.” (James 3:3-12 NASB)
James teaches that the tongue, because it is connected SPIRITUALLY with the heart (spirit of man), it is like a rudder. The tongue can, and does, direct a person’s life; at least to a large degree. Though small, it is very powerful. Though not considered important, like one’s appearance or social standing, it can make or break a life, relationship, church community, or even a nation.
And though no man can tame it, it still stands; “these things ought not to be this way.” So what can a person do?
To change the tongue, to rid it of its poisonous venom, one must work at changing the heart. “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Or, to be a little clearer, change the heart’s perception of what’s right and wrong.
In other words, renew your mind with God’s word; His word which is “life to those who find it, and health to all their flesh.”
For His Word, planted into the heart and mind of the Christ follower, will moment by moment be at work removing the old and replacing it with the new.
He will help you and I learn a new vocabulary; the language of the Kingdom. Words that are carriers of faith, life, healing and wholeness. Words which lift the hearers to new levels of faith and encouragement. Words that can cleanse and repair dirty and damaged souls.
Potty mouth Christian, let’s put an end to that phrase; shall we?
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32 NASB)