Cussing And Cursing
"Words are just words." A friend who was a new Christian had just fired off an "F bomb" while we were playing golf. When I suggested such language should not be used, he got angry and said, "Words are just words. I don't mean anything by them." Well obviously he did because when he hit a bad drive, he didn't say, "Mary Poppins!" Words mean things. We don't speak gibberish.
By why are cuss words wrong? Here's two passages that describe such language as in unbecoming of those talking the walk. "No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29). "Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks" (Ephesians 5:4).
But I'll ask again, why is such language vile? The text says they don't build up or give grace. They are the opposite of thankfulness. Here is where I am at a disadvantage. I don't feel comfortable using such language to explain its spiritual deficiencies. Instead, I will try to describe the spiritual deficiencies themselves.
Certain curse words put you in the place of God, sentencing people eternally.
Certain words demean others or their efforts by comparing to defecation.
Certain words are violent in meaning, especially connoting sexual violence.
"But I don't mean these things. I just get mad and need to say something." That excuse is also part of the problem. Using words that have a meaning, but using them void of meaning, is still wrong. Have you heard people who use "Jesus" in vain, as a filler word, or even in combination with vulgarity? The speaker is possibly even unaware of what he is saying. However, words do mean things. If they didn't, then there is no such thing as lying or telling the truth.
There's an old saying, birds of a feather flock together." Have you noticed what other verbal wrongs are contextually connected to cussing?
"Futility of thoughts" (4:17) (i.e. "words are just words")
"Be angry yet do not sin” (4:26)
"Bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander, with all malice" (4:31)
Cursing is wrong because it is the wrong use of the tongue, but also the unloving abuse of others.