What does the Bible say about cussing?

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Christ taught that what comes out of our mouths is that which fills our hearts. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Christ Himself did not bring against Satan “a railing accusation” (Jude 9). Cussing springs from hate and exhibits the spirit of Satan, “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10).

The apostle James teaches that a Christian should not be characterized by having an evil tongue: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water” (James 3:9-12).

Genuine Christians show their faith by using their tongues to bless their enemies (Matthew. 5:44, 45). The apostle Peter tells us, “For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech” (1 Peter 3:10). He who finds it difficult to “refrain his tongue” may well make the prayer of Psalms 141:3 his own.

The apostle Paul teaches: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). So, it is not enough that the Christian merely abstains from unseemly speech. His words are to accomplish a useful purpose. Jesus warned against the use of idle words (Matthew 12:36), words that accomplish no good purpose.

There is hope for all who have struggled with the sin of cussing. The Lord is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And He will not only forgive but will also cleanse them form all unrighteousness. The Lord requires moral perfection of His children (Matthew 5:48) but He has also made every provision for us to successfully resist and overcome sin (Romans 8:1–4).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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