The Problem with Profanity and Negative Language: It’s A Heart Issue

profanity 4

I was raised in a good, Christian home and went to church whenever the doors were open, but for some reason all of those horrible 4 letter words made their way into my vocabulary and my life. Using profanity became such a part of my every day that I could use multiple 4 letter words in one sentence and wouldn’t even notice. It became habitual, like brushing your teeth or something.  I was able to hide this about myself to my parents and church people for the most part, but I still did it so frequently. I don’t know if it was partly a freedom and control thing or where this issue stemmed from, but I know a big issue at hand is my heart. I’ve found that I have a lot of unresolved anger and I don’t understand quite where it comes from but I realize this in me and I desire that God would change my heart and remove that anger inside of me. I think the Lord has really been doing a work in me and even though it took me so long to repent and look to HIM for this change I knew was so very needed. When I finally did come to Him, He graciously and lovingly helped me. I am not saying I have since been transformed and never slip up, because Lord knows I do slip up. This has not been an easy road and He is still working in me, but by His grace, and grace alone, I have gotten so much better. I think it helps some that I have a tiny human that can very easily hold me accountable for the words that come out of my mouth.It gives me reason to try my hardest not slip up in front of him.

I absolutely love Psalm 19:14 which says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” 

As well as Proverbs 4:23 which says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

The video below is John Piper discussing the issues with cursing as a Christian and he does it far better than I ever could. But, I do want to highlight some of the verses he brought up and maybe say a few things on them. There are three in particular.

1. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

In the video, Piper emphasizes the parts that I have made bold and I love that he points that out because alongside of profanity, I believe, lies negative talk (rude and arrogant).

2. Ephesians 5:4

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

I love Piper and how he really breaks things down, especially the word of  the Lord. Both verses say that truth and thanksgiving should be the goal in what we say and do. Piper doesn’t mention this verse but in reading and thinking on these two verses I am reminded of Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  I know it says to think on these things but I want to bring it back to Proverbs 4:23. Maybe I am wrong and it’s just me, but I believe that the things that we think on go down and into our hearts and then what is in our hearts come out of our mouths. So if we are thinking on the good and lovely and pure things then our hearts will be filled with  those things and the words of our mouth will reflect the state of our heart. It makes me think about how there have been times when I was feeling down and depressed and when I would read God’s word, pray, and think on all of the blessings in my life that depression would lessen.

3. Ephesians 4:29

 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

This is probably one of my favorite verses to think and reflect on when I am struggling with the words I am speaking, and even my thoughts. I love how it says “only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion“, especially the part about building up others. I have found that when I think about this verse, and the truth it carries, I am more apt to pause and really think about the words that come out of my mouth and think about if these words are going to tear someone down or build them up and point them towards the Lord.

I hope watching this video of John Piper will help you understand these verses further and help you to also pause and think on the words that you allow out of your mouth.


12 thoughts on “The Problem with Profanity and Negative Language: It’s A Heart Issue

  1. Great post! A few weeks ago, my pastor preached on the power of our words and I’ve been slowly going through the verses he shared. I love Philippians 4:8 as well and I agree…what you put in will eventually come out in some form.


    1. Yes, I agree which is why I am begging for the Lord to change me from the inside out. I want the reflection of what kind of persona I am on the inside to be good, and kind and loving. Not filthy and crass. I want people to see Jesus in me, not myself, if that makes sense.


  2. Awesome post! I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about thinking about good things and letting that transcend to what we talk about. It’s amazing when you change your heart and your mind to be better! I’m a work in progress too on this issue 😉


  3. Love your post! It is a heart matter but sadly has become so much of the norm I don’t think people realize what they’re saying. The worst for me is whenever someone says the name of Jesus in a derogatory way. It pains my heart. I guess when they say it I should just respond, “is Lord of all”. Thanks for the post!


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