I don’t cuss. Well it’s never been a habit of mine. I learned at a very early age, that I had to watch my mouth. Yes, I got my mouth washed out with soap plenty of times. If you’re under the age 20, you’ve probably never experienced that. These days when kids disrespect their parents, they get sent to their room, that is equipped with everything I dreamed about having when I was their age. So it’s not really punishment. But that isn’t the point of this blog.
But I was reading this verse recently, and it’s a verse we have read many of times before. It’s the verse that Bible school teachers use to scare the hell out of you so that you don’t cuss. (See what I did there? You see what I did there.) It says: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
It really got me thinking, I honestly don’t think he had “cussing” in mind when he wrote this. I mean come on, it’s Paul, the man that use to murder people. I mean I’ve done my research, and I know that some of the examples and things he wrote, were watered down when they were translated to English. If they were to be translated back into the original language, you would see that a lot of the things that he said, our Christian culture would rebuke, and we would never let a man like him in our churches today. I’m not saying it’s okay to cuss, I’m just saying that cuss words as such weren’t a problem back then. So in my humble opinion, cuss words is not what he was talking about in that verse.
So now that that’s out of the way, it really got me wondering what he was talking about. Then I started thinking about different situations I have been in. One being when I was in a band back in 2010, we would talk about Jesus on stage, but behind the scenes we would make some of the dirtiest, most disgusting jokes. I pitched in, I’m not blaming it just on them, but we were living lifes of hypocrites. We were in a ministry, Commissioned to preach the gospel, yet I still heard some of the nastiest things I’ve ever heard in my life, from my bandmates. Another situation, is at work. I have found myself getting caught up in Gossip, bad mouthing, and all around destroying people for the sake of entertainment. Unwholesome words, that is what Paul is talking about. Proclaiming God’s name, with the same tongue you curse your fellow man. (James 3:8-9 “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.”)
So you if you don’t cuss, but you speak ill about anyone, or say unwholesome, non edifying things; you’re still in sin. Shocker!! I know!!
I just want to encourage all of you, there is already too much hate in the world. Let’s build people up, instead of tearing people down. Let’s look to speak life into people, instead of destroying them, and ruining their reputations. Let’s love, like God loves us.