There are a series of commercials that have been out for sometime now that advertise Orbit chewing gum. The lady in the commercial always ends by saying “Got a dirty mouth? Clean it up with Orbit.” Yes, it cute(ish) and I always loathe a good pun. However, it does point out a problem in today’s world.
Never before have I seen so many people who profess to be Christians yet use horrible language in their everyday dealings with people. Sadly, this problem doesn’t limit itself to people’s mouths, but has infected their fingers also. Yes, I’m talking about social media in general and Facebook in particular.
I have lost count of the number of people that I have had to block from showing up on my Facebook feed because they will post something from the word of God and then immediately post something that has horrible language in it. Why is this? Is this what God wants?
I guess the real question is “Does our language really matter?” I’ve heard people say things like “God isn’t going to condemn me because of a few words.” This is one way that Satan tricks us into believing that our words don’t matter to God. But, the truth is our words do matter to God.
Ananias and Sapphira just thought to use a “few words.” It didn’t turn out so well for them.
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. (Acts 5:1-11 ESV)
“But, they lied,” some people would say. And that is true. So, I will give evidence that God wants our speech to be pure just as much as he wants all of our actions to be pure.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:5-10 ESV)
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 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. And 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. (Ephesians 4:25-31 ESV)
Look at the context these things are under! In both cases, he talks about lying and how bad it is. He talks about not having malice in both cases. Then he mentions obscene talk. Is there any doubt from these two passages that bad language is just as offensive to God as lying, or slandering, or wrath, or anger. In the second passage it even says that doing these things grieves the Holy Spirit of God.
If we profess to be Christians and regularly use bad language, are we really Christians? Are we following the example of Christ? I can’t think of a single time that Christ used offensive language. When He was having His back beaten bloody by the Romans before His crucifixion, the Bible doesn’t record a single curse word said out of anger or pain. With all He went through, not a single offensive statement is recorded. Why not? Well, some people will say, “It’s because He was God, ” and that is true. However, He was tempted just as we are.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)
So, it wasn’t because He wasn’t tempted to do so. I think it was because He understood something.
Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22 ESV)
Christ understood that His actions and words reflected on His Father. Many people who claim to be Christians today don’t seem to understand that our actions and words also reflect on our Father. How does it look to the world when we say we are Christians and then live as if we follow Satan?
Some people will say, “I don’t write anything bad, I just repost things other people have said.” Is that abstaining from every form of evil or is that giving your agreement to what they said? How do you think God sees that, especially when you add a comment like “I totally agree with this.” Well, I’ll tell you how God feels about it:
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:9-11 ESV)
By reposting a message that contains offensive language, we are agreeing with and taking part in that person’s wicked works. God will not be pleased with that. Instead, let’s always strive to show all those around us that we belong to God by keeping our speech pure.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalm 19:14 ESV)