Tag Archives: swearing

Swearing and Cursing

I have something against ‘Christians’ who drop profanities in casual conversation. It’s probably the idealist in me, but I tend to think that Christians ought to shy away from such practice. For one thing I’ve never heard a profane word that I felt contributed anything intelligent to a conversation. In fact I’ve always given _less_ credibility to people whose regular dialogue includes curse words exactly because it makes them sound so much more ignorant. Apply this to people who call themselves Christians and such people lose a notch or three of my respect.

Tack on another item – a lot of people are offended by profanity, _particularly_ when it is casual. Christians have an obligation, whether they acknowledge and accept that fact or not, to maintain a higher standard of living. This standard dictates avoiding such behaviors as are deemed offensive for the sake the maintaining a testimony for Christ that is without spot or blemish. To hear a Christian use profanity is disappointing because it tarnishes the image of Christ, whose reflection we are to put out to the world.

And before you cry hypocrite, let me just say that, yes, I place myself under and condemn myself by my own standards. I have something of a wicked temper – I always have. Unfortunately, I’m not perfect and find that my language turns a bit blue when I get angry. As often as I bite my tongue when I’m mad, I’m not perfect (how often I wish I was). Always, though, when I have slipped up, I recognize my wrong and feel appropriately guilty. Forgiveness is sought and restitution made as best as possible. Even so, I make a point of _not_ slipping into potty-mouthed behaviors in casual conversation and writing.

I don’t know if it’s a symptom of our culture or of our churches or both, but I _have_ seen a fair number of believers who seem to have no problem at all with certain terminology in their discourse. I know that some justify it by saying that this allows them access to certain circles they might not otherwise meet, but I don’t believe that a wrong makes right. I have actually found that by _not_ engaging in similar behavior it is possible to engage the same groups because you gain their respect for not sinking to those levels. It’s strange – as much as people have little problem with a coarser way of speaking, they do seem to recognize that it is a lesser way of it. And so when they meet someone who can dialogue with them intelligently without engaging in profanity with them, they at least take notice, and I have found that they often listen to what I have to say with greater attentiveness.

So, clean up the language, kids. I think you might be surprised at the result.