Often times people comment, “God did not define which words are bad!” or “Where did curse words come from?” These comments are usually made to explain why there is a free licence to communicate in any manner.
The attitude of this line of thinking is of concern, as it foregoes consideration of how we wish to be perceived. Is there more need for consideration about whether how we are perceived will form a stumbling block in influencing the spread of Gospel? Undeniably, there are words that are culturally and socially acceptable and unacceptable. Depending on a variety of factors, there are some words that are deemed offensive, obscene and profane by the local community. If this is the case, should a Christian risk spoiling their influence by utilizing such language?
Eph. 4:29 states,
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.
Additionally, Col. 4:6 says
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone
The guiding principle from these two verses is that Christians should strive to communicate in a manner that builds up rather than tears down. Our language evolves daily, where new words and phrases are developed constantly. Some are intended to hurt or shock the listener. It is also common that words that were previously positive, have evolved to encompass a more negative connotation.
The recommended rule of thumb for Christians then would be to strive to always be cognizant of the language used and how it is likely to be interpreted.
Will my words hurt or create mischief? Will I be viewed as unwholesome or vulgar? These are a few considerations for the Christian as s/he communicates in person or via social media.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.James 1:26