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Profanity, Swearing, and Cursing
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Profanity, Swearing, and Cursing

The dictionary defines profanity as abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language. Swearing is using God's name, or someone else's name or credibility (like your mothers grave, or children) to somehow back up a statement or action that we have made. Cursing is an appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something (like asking God to damn someone, or telling someone to go to Hell). Normally we use profanity and cursing as a means to vent our anger or desire for revenge upon someone or something that we feel has wronged us in some way. It is verbal revenge and verbal violence. Profanity is always progressive, and although you may start off with nice versions of the words, you will eventually graduate at some point, to the more coarse, defiling (contaminating) words and expressions, and also to using God's name in vain. You see, crude words paint a crude, foul picture in people’s minds that have to hear them.

You may also try to just use profanity and coarse language in private, or just in your mind, only to find out that it soon leaks out into your public life. I remember one time when I was playing Jesus in a well known dramatic production and in full costume and make-up for the show; that all the cast were praying for each other in the meeting hall adjacent to the church kitchen. I was thirsty so I went into the refrigerator in the kitchen to get a cold drink and spilled this big sloppy desert all over the floor. I accidentally said the "F" word, and noticed out of the corner of my eye, that the producer of the show was standing right behind me looking for me because it was my turn to be prayed for by the cast. I was so embarrassed and mortified, but it showed me that I had to stop using profanity, or it would come out at the worst times, whether I wanted it to or not. I had stopped trusting God for my protection, and I was giving my mind permission to use profane language when I was angry to retaliate against anything or anyone that I felt had wronged me. I found that if I tried to just swear in my mind, that it would eventually always come out of my mouth sooner or later and usually at a very bad time. Profanity always ruins our witness.

EPH 5:4 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Most of the time we use profanity to feel a sense of control over any threat that tries to harm us. It feels good to use profanity because it gives us a sense of power over a wrong that we feel was committed against us, and it is a form of verbal punishment or revenge. The problem is, it also demonstrates a lack of ability to reason with someone or something rationally and truthfully. And those that hear it coming out of our mouth realize that we lack self control and trust in God, because we take revenge into our own hands (mouth) when we are faced with a problem, rather than praying about it, and letting God punish them if necessary. It causes all around us to feel dirtied and intimidated, thus the expression "dirty language". Coarse speech is the product of a hard angry heart, and it can be very difficult to stop once you start using it a lot. If you want people to trust you, then they need to see that you trust in God to protect you.

RO 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

RO 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Swearing is where you make an oath to someone or to God that something you are saying, didn't say, doing, didn't do, or planning, is either true or not true. Peter got caught in this trap because he wanted to stay near Jesus during His trial, so he cursed and swore up and down that he didn't know Jesus. Then Peter heard the rooster crow, and felt crushed after he swore he didn't even know Jesus. It is time that we all hear the rooster crow and confirm our problem in this area. Usually people that are constantly having to swear by something, have a problem with lying and are just trying to cover their lies up with an oath to make people believe them, and get themselves out of trouble. When we swear by God, or by that which He has created, we are showing contempt for Him. What if someone always swore by your name that they were telling the truth, but in reality, they where actually lying? I think you would tell them to stop it, because you don't want people backing up their lies, with your good reputation and name. Jesus said plainly, just don't swear by anything.

MT 5:33 "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your `Yes' be `Yes,' and your `No,' `No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

We need to just speak the truth about something and face the consequences if we did something wrong, rather than trying to get God to back up our lies. If you get caught lying and you swore by God that it was true, then those people will never believe anything you say as a Christian ever again. There are few things that are more valuable than your reputation and word. How would you feel if someone got a loan at the bank in your name, had no intention of paying it, and promised that you would pay the loan in their place based on your good credit record, reputation, and money in the bank? You wouldn't like it I'm sure, because they are taking advantage of their relationship with you, and dragging your good name into the mud with their selfish sinful behavior. Jesus said, "just let your yes be yes, and let your no be no", and leave it at that. People that routinely tell the truth don't swear because they don't need to. God will always back up the truth, but He will never support a lie.

Cursing is where you speak something to bring evil upon someone, like cursing your father or mother because you are angry with them. Like I mentioned above, many of the popular curse words that we use when angry, are actually inviting demons into someone’s life by asking God to damn them, or say that you want them to go to Hell. There is great power in our words because it is a human volition of will that gives permission for evil to hurt another human. Witchcraft is not just some old ladies dancing around a cauldron and chanting some incantation, it is using your spirit and words to try to control, manipulate, or harm someone else. We have all been in a room with an angry person and felt their anger even though they were smiling sweetly and not saying anything. Most spouses know what I'm talking about. When you curse, you are basically asking God to punish someone, and asking for demons to come and to harass them just because you are mad at them. What we speak has power, and God said not to curse people. God said that we would give an account for every idle word we spoken in life. God wants us to use His name properly to bless others, and not to use it as a demonic weapon to curse them.

EX 20:7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

LEV 19:12 " `Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

LEV 20:9 " `If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

When we verbally punish people or things with abusive speech, it shows that we don't trust God to defend us. You must understand that everything that has ever been done or said has been recorded in heaven, and someday that person will face a judgment for everything they have ever done in their life. That means Christians too. Plus, you have to remember the thousands of times we have selfishly harmed someone, and how God forgave us. If God had decided to listen to other people’s curses against us, we would have been toast a long time ago. So why should we demand justice, when God has pardoned our countless spiritual crimes? Jesus hung on a cross, innocent of any crime, and He was paying for every time that we would hurt someone, or when they would hurt us. He has paid for all of our crimes already. I think if we saw a video of all that we have done wrong in life and been forgiven for, we would fall to the floor in tears.

MT 12:36,37 36 "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

In order to stop using profanity, you will have to learn to trust God again to punish and correct someone if and when they wrong you. Swearing or cursing at someone or something may make you feel better emotionally at that moment, but it dirties your heart, strips God of His ability to defend you, and can harm those around you in many different ways. Using profanity tends to just make the situation worse, and afterward (after-words), you will have to do a lot of apologizing for the things you just said. I have eaten a lot of crow. There is always a price you pay after using profanity. Instead of swearing, try praying for the offender, your heart will soften toward them, and God can actually step in do something about their bad behavior because you have asked for His help. Also, when you pray for someone, it has the effect of healing your heart from the damage they did. It also helps to stop watching TV shows with a lot of profanity in them, because it will only make the problem get stronger again. If you want something to go away, then you must stop feeding it, and starve it out. Feed the good in you and starve the bad.

This is what Jesus said to do.

MT 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

We must forgive someone to get free of the anger that builds in our hearts towards them, and that pushes us to attack them verbally. Old resentment and bitterness is the kindling that fuels the forest fire of anger and rage that you will someday face if you refuse to forgive today. Remember, God has let you off the hook many times in the past, when you were caught dead to rights hurting one of His kids, and He did not punish you as you deserved. You must learn to show the same kind of mercy toward those that have wronged you, and forgive people that sin against us. When you take vengeance into your own hands, and hold grudges against people, then God cannot forgive your sins. Do you really want your sins piling up with God, just to stay mad at someone?

MT 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Also, when you show mercy and forgiveness, rather than verbally punishing people, they can see that you really do trust God because you have demonstrated His character in your merciful response toward the offender. We all make mistakes and we all need a lot of mercy and forgiveness to get through life. Who would you trust, someone that prays and forgives during a conflict, or someone that uses profanity and curses to punish others during a conflict? When you show love to someone that has wronged you, it has a way of melting their hearts toward you, but when you curse at them, it is like throwing gasoline on the fire (and all the married couples said, amen). Choose to show love and mercy, rather than selfishly resorting to verbal violence, and things will go much better for you and for those around you. Plus the angels that watch over you, and hear your words, won't have to leave or cover their ears so much.

Here is a prayer to pray to help you if you need it.

"Lord God, I ask that you would forgive me for taking verbal revenge upon your creation and for not trusting you to protect me when I have felt that someone or something has wronged me. I ask that you would cleanse my lips and heart from any and all defilement that I have received from using profanity and cursing to express my anger. I also renounce any curses that I may have spoken against anyone or anything in my life, and I ask instead Lord, for you to deal with them as you see fit. I ask God, that you would also break the power of anyone else’s curses spoken upon me. Thank you for forgiving me this day God, and help me to change how I deal with my anger and how I speak from now on. Help me to speak only words that bring life, and to never speak any words that produce death. In Jesus name I pray, amen".