Cursing Christians | Truth In Love

cursing symbols in a speech bubble

“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.” Colossians 3:7-8

As I prayed over the verse for this first devotional on Christian behavior, the issue of language kept appearing. I have run across this topic with those outside the faith, my fellow Christians, and even my children. There are ample non-biblical reasons I can give for not using foul language. Also, we usually refer to a variety of other Scriptures on this subject. But, this instruction in Colossians spoke most clearly to the purpose of these devotionals: to teach us how to follow our faith in a world that is more at odds with it every day.

What is Cursing?

What we tend to call cussing or four letter words these days, were referred to as cursing as early as the 1200s. Exclamatory usage came about during the 1800s, according to the word history at dictionary.com. It comes from a root word, curs, that means a prayer that evil or harm befall one. Think about that for a moment. Each time we speak these words – now common place in our schools, on our televisions, in our books, even in our politics – we are speaking a prayer for evil or harm.

It is easy to say that isn’t our intention. But, Jesus and James both spoke to the power of words. It is easy to excuse ourselves because everyone else does it, but here as Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, that excuse falls flat. He was instructing Christians fairly new to faith, a church that was struggling with pagan tendencies in the surrounding society. Paul was writing to a church that he believed had experienced a true movement and acceptance of the Holy Spirit. He instructed that yes, they had once done these things. But now it was time to put those things away. He told them that to be the new creations in Christ that they were striving to become, they had to let go of what they had been.

As we walk after Jesus today, let us make a conscious effort to put away our obscene talk from our mouths, and instead of praying evil let us pray blessings on the people and things that bring the urge to curse. Be blessed and be a blessing.

Prayer

Father, we sometimes find it hard to let go of our past selves. We have ingrained habits. We are often oblivious to the impact of our words and attitudes on the world around us. We do not realize how those same words and attitudes keep us separated from Your presence. We repent of these prayers for evil that we speak without thought. We ask Your forgiveness and the aid of Your Spirit to help us pray for good. In the Name of Jesus, we ask these thing.

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