Unwholesome talk

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” {Psalm 19:14}

Some of you read that all the way through, but some of you saw with a glance it was going to be a Bible verse and skipped to this sentence (shame shame). You latter group, read the verse over again. Carefully.

Recently, I’ve been wrestling a lot with what it means to glorify God by what we say. Watching some videos of my younger self the other day showed me that I was a very cutting, selfish individual who nagged others constantly and argued against anything. I don’t want to be that way and I certainly hope I have made strides towards not being like that any more!

Also, I had been wondering much about cursing. One of the key verses the Bible says about cursing is, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” {James 3:10} After doing some research I think the “cursing” in this verse does not refer to our 21st century swearing, but is rather more like the opposite of blessing. If you bless someone you encourage them or sincerely wish the best for them, invoking God to witness and fulfill your statements. But if you curse someone, you’re saying something to the effect of “I hate you” or “She’s such an idiot,” etc.

Swearing in Biblical times also meant something different from today. People would promise something and “swear” by something to hold up their promise, i.e. “I swear by heaven I’ll give you a shekel if you give me your cow.” {This is condemned in James 5:12, “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”}

It is said in multiple places in the Bible that what comes out of the mouth flows from the heart, and I think that couldn’t be more true. I used to say that I would reserve swearing for the times in which I get really angry, enough to justify a four-letter word. But since anger is a sin and not glorifying to God, then we really should think twice about the state of our hearts during situations that “require” swearing. Ideally there should be none, as we’re being sanctified and becoming more like Christ!

And I’m definitely not perfect at this! There’s times I seriously have to bite my tongue and keep from lashing out. But if we’re trying to follow God, the times we openly express our anger should decrease. Another verse: “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.” {Eph. 4:29} Is swearing unwholesome talk? I think yes. Maybe. I might be wrong but unwholesome talk includes a whole huge bunch of things, not just swearing. Like I mentioned earlier it’s still a struggle for me to be uplifting in what I say, and also not to gossip or shoot others down.

So in conclusion I’m definitely not perfect and I’m not trying to be judgy, just provide some food for thought. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg on this subject; I didn’t try to cover everything! And I could also be totally wrong about my verse analysis because I’m a sinner and nobody is perfect. If you have thoughts or if you agree/disagree I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Tia ❤


One thought on “Unwholesome talk

  1. I am pretty sure that the Bible never says that anger is inherently a sin. It is not the action of getting angry that is the sin, but what they anger is directed toward and how one responds to it. There is righteous anger and sinful anger, and sometimes it is difficult to know the difference.

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