Recently after encouraging others about cleaning up our speech as Christians, I was asked “But what are cuss words? Are u referring to words that someone made up and deemed bad or are u referring to words hate that will harm to a person?”
Consider this Google definition of profanity as a reference:
“Profanity, also known as cursing, cussing, swearing, bad language, foul language, obscenities, expletives, or vulgarism, is a socially offensive use of language. Accordingly, profanity is language use that is sometimes deemed rude, obscene, or culturally offensive; in certain religions, it constitutes sin.”
For starters, it’s important to note that outside of the Bible, people can justify doing or saying anything. This is particularly for those who have truly committed to Jesus and strive to be more like Him, not perfect in the common sense, just more like Him as we live, grow, and mature in our faith. Every culture has its own language and, by default, their words that are authentically deemed vulgar and profane. I went to a different country a while back, and I was eventually informed of words that were equivalent to that of English profanity regarding “cursing” someone out, i.e., calling them out of their name and intentionally disrespecting them. Also, I heard of words used generally that may not have been intentionally used to harm someone, but the words were considered extremely vulgar, distasteful, and offensive. All cultures have “those words.”
For those of us who put a lot of value in God’s word and wisdom, we consider these scriptures attached and aim to put them into practice that we can experience the fruit of doing so. There are people, and in most of these cases, myself, who were easily overcome by the spirit of gossip, anger, lust, drunkenness, etc., but realized what God’s perspective on it and after applying His word to it over a period, we’re set free in ways they never have initially imagined.
In the same way, there are people who realized the same thing with regard to profanity. They realized how toxic it was to use it as a weapon against their children and others. They also realized how using it generally was distasteful, disrespectful, and damaging not only to their children and those around but also themselves. And over time, as they allowed God to work it out of them, they realized then how much more free and at peace they were. Free from the obligation to make oneself look macho, less lame, free from the bad traditions passed down, and just free from the negative fallout from being in an environment that is full of it. And of course, there are all sorts of spiritual freedoms that God can bring as well like more peace, joy, and much more.
When this happens, one can’t help but tell, warn, and proclaim to others, though there is a chance some may take offense in doing so. With that said, if a given individual was a Christian, I would share something like this and encourage them to sincerely read scriptures on this, including those below, and allow the Holy Spirit to search one’s heart. Often times, if we find ourselves apologizing saying things like “forgive my French,” “I’m sorry for cursing,” or the like, it might be a clear indication that we have more room to grow in this regard. Beyond that, if we sincerely ask God, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us what words are considered profane and those that aren’t. I know this is a lot, but I wanted to be sure to answer as best as I could and to provide potentially good insight or info for others who may read.
In short, if it’s hard to determine what’s profane, God will reveal such as we seek Him, are real with Him, and we will be better for it if we allow Him to work on and through us.