James said that the tongue is “a world of iniquity” (James 3:6). Indeed, there are numerous sins that can be committed by or aided with the misuse of the tongue. When one thinks of the sins that are committed with the tongue, he often thinks of things such as lying, speaking blasphemies, using profanity, and gossip. However, we rarely consider complaining to be a sin.
Americans are granted the freedom of speech, and many of us exercise this right with pride and passion. We think very little of voicing a criticism or complaint about another’s driving on the highway or service at a restaurant. We see it as our civic duty to complain about our elected officials. We feel that the price we paid for admission to a sporting event gives us the right to let the players, coaches, and umpires know if they are doing a lousy job. We even have careers that are based upon the practice of criticism (restaurant critic, movie critic, etc.). Our society abounds with criticism. For this reason, some Christians have a difficult time viewing complaining and criticizing as a sin.
Continue reading » The Sin of Complaining
Although the world may acknowledge the power of one’s words, many people in the world think very little about how they actually speak. It seems that there was a time when filthy language was only used by unsavory characters and dirty stories were reserved for private conversations held by “mature” adults. Today, profanity and filthy language can be heard by all kinds of people in all kinds of places. Even people who call themselves “Christians” can be heard using foul language and telling dirty jokes.
The Bible takes a very different approach to the way we use our words. Jesus warned us to take our speech very seriously.
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Jesus says that we will give an account for every idle or careless word that proceeds from our mouth. He goes on to say that such words will determine whether we will stand justified or condemned before Him. Indeed, death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Continue reading » Corrupt Words and Filthy Speech
"When angry, count four; when very angry, swear."
~ Mark Twain
"But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth."
In a recent edition of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, an article on the subject of Cursing appeared in the Life & Arts section. The article was a good example of unbiased reporting, as it just reported the societal trend of increased cursing and swearing, while not commenting on the appropriateness of the trend. I do not intend to be unbiased however, in commenting on the trend. The use of obscenity is condemned in scripture, and unworthy behavior for one who would please God.
Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: Curse and Effect