The F-Word and Wholesome Christian Speech


The F-word is becoming more commonplace in everyday language. We Christians must remember the message of Ephesians 4:29. This 1-minute devotion explains.

"The casual use of bad language is a sign of the coarsening of our culture." Katie Couric 

Television personality Katie Couric talks about the day the piped-in music at her gym included the F-word in the lyrics. Shocked, she looked around; but no one else blinked an eye.

“The more our culture uses curse words, the less shocking it is when we hear them. Because they're no longer shocking, people use them more and more.”*

The F-word is becoming more commonplace in everyday language. We Christians must remember the message of Ephesians 4:29. This 1-minute devotion explains.
In Eastern Europe, we've sometimes had conversations with people who've laced every sentence with profanity. They aren't being rude, but they’ve learned their English from American movies and assume we all talk that way. 

And many Christians, especially younger ones, think nothing of dropping a curse word or two into a conversation. They aren’t aware that God wants to be Lord of our speech.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths…Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking" (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4).

So let's make sure the words of our mouths are pleasing to our Lord (Psalm 19:14).

Here are a few other passages that command we use godly speech: 
Colossians 3:8Colossians 4:6; Matthew 15:11

And lest we think God isn't really that concerned with our words:

Matthew 12:35-36: "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken." 

*Women's Day: Katie Couric on Cursing in Public

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The F-word is becoming more commonplace in everyday language. We Christians must remember the message of Ephesians 4:29. This 1-minute devotion explains.
The F-word is becoming more commonplace in everyday language. We Christians must remember the message of Ephesians 4:29. This 1-minute devotion explains. The F-word is becoming more commonplace in everyday language. We Christians must remember the message of Ephesians 4:29. This 1-minute devotion explains.


Bible Love Notes

62 comments:

  1. I have been on myself very hard lately to watch what I say! Thank you for writing this, loved it!

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  2. stress has a way of increasing the likelihood of cursing,(I'm speaking for myself) not to mention the environment you're around, military, "myself former prison official" Point is I know better, but its too easy for some to sound to holier than thou. granted I can't stand to hear it come from music,(its garbage) which is so disturbing, there is no reason for it. Right on Katie.

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    1. I'm sorry but don't let your surroundings rule you be in control I'd you'r surroundings. Oriole respect you and notice when you don't follow the norm. You become a safe place that isa different for them.

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  3. So true! Ephesians 4:29 is one of my favorite scriptures about unwholesome talk. :-)

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  4. Hi Gail, the ease with which people swear these days does freak me out a little. I think I will be more concerned when it doesn't bother me anymore. Great reminder to keep our speech clean.
    God bless my friend
    Tracy

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  5. This is an excellent post. In the mid-to-lat sixties (ok, so I'm dating myself) I was in a British Governement school where the profanity was so coarse that I could hardly stand it. I don't know where they had learned it because TV at the time was limited to after 5pm and not on all Saturday. I do remember that the British programs were coarser than the Americans. It used to be that a man would curb his tongue around a woman, but not anymore. Many people do not even realize that they are saying anything offensive as they have become so accustomed to speaking with curse words laced throughout.

    You are so right that many Christians do not realize that this is wrong and I think this post gently instructs.

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  6. Gail, we were just talking about this! My husband said that when he was in high school, {OK, it's been a few years!} the locker room and sports field were the 'swear zones', and the guys would never think to swear in front of a girl. {Not that that made it acceptable!} Now, the girls are just as coarse as the guys. It seems that the standard is set so low, few even recognize their speech as unacceptable. Thanks for the reminder of God's perspective on the words we use.
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  7. Yes, I agree that we live in a world where beauty has been lost in a world of darkness and despair and where even our words bring glory to the enemy of our souls! Over via Unite.
    Much love XX
    Mia

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    1. Sadly, this is true. However, your description is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your insight. God bless you.

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    2. Thank you, Mia, for your comment. Words i needed to hear, that we bring glory to our enemy when we use profanity. That was a well needed stab to my heart. I can't even imagine how OurLordJesus feels when our speech overflows from our hearts in such a bad way.
      Jesus saves us and paid the price for our sins...
      The enemy did not.

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  8. I think this is a generational thing. Young men apologize to me if they swear around me, because I don't. But, young women, apparently, think it's ok. I once had a young man apologize to me, in advance, about a kareoke song he was about to perform. Then, he came over afterwards to see if I'd survived. "It's not that I haven't heard those words before," I told him. "It's that I've never heard anyone sing those words."

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  9. The F word and others are crude, however the ubiquitous and flippant OMG ought to be even more repulsive to lovers of God. Curses may be coarsening our culture by spreading filth on the surface, but OMG cuts right to the heart by offending God and minimizing him.

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  10. ~~~WHEN I FIRST GOT SAVED IN '73, FOR FOUR FULL YEARS I DID NOT SWEAR, THEN I STARTED OUT OF MARITAL STRESS, MY HUSBAND DID NOT SWEAR 4 FOUR YEARS TOO UNTIL I STARTED AND HE STARTED, HE WAS UPSET WITH ME, AND I NEED TO ASK GOD FOR HELP.~~~AND STOP.

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  11. Our country and culture has become more godless and secular and less God fearing.

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  12. As a child I saw a sign posted above the doorway to a tire shop that said, "Profanity is a sure sign of a small mind trying to express itself in a big way".

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  13. I went to a certain church for 7 years that taught us never to use words like Gosh or Heck, etc. In this new church I am in, these words are prevalent;
    no one is correcting them, not even the pastor who uses them too. Is something wrong with me? Am I a legalist??

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    1. Hi Jen,
      I think that some of these words may have first been used in place of cuss words, so some people feel they are simply "code" for those words. If that were true, they shouldn't be used.

      However, I don't think most people who use those words think of them as code words or even substitutes for cuss words. They are simply words of exclamation.

      I think they're like "cool" or "neat" - they don't actually denote temperature or orderliness. They are simply a positive affirmation.

      My mother, who was a sweet woman who would never have been accused of inappropriate language often said "Oh, heck" after laughing. I know that she wasn't thinking of or referring to hell.


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    2. Which brings up an interesting point. What makes a word a "cuss" word? In your explanation you describe a situation where the same word can either be acceptable or not acceptable depending upon how it is used or how it is perceived.

      I personally don't believe we should use inappropriate language. I base this on a list of words that I consider inappropriate. Oddly enough, not everyone agrees with my list. ��

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    3. Hi Neeva,

      The F-word is a crude word meaning sexual intercourse, used to cuss someone out or to make an exclamation. It's never had a legitimate use such as my examples "cool" or "neat."

      Until our moral values declined, this word was banned or bleeped from television and movies, so no matter who decided, it has always been considered a cuss word.

      I have never met anyone who thought the f-word was polite or wholesome. Have you?

      God commands us not to use unwholesome words, obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, so Christians want to avoid the f-word because it offends our Lord even if it doesn't offend our friends (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4).

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    4. I went without cussing for many years but for reasons I don't even remember, I started again. I agree the F word is crude but it has come to mean more than sex. It's a word I use when I am angry or frustrated about something. I know this is no excuse but wanted to add what I also hear kids use it for. I'm around a lot of teens and 20 somethings. I am currently trying to clean up my mouth.

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    5. Good for you, Robin, for recognizing your need to clean up your speech out of love for Christ. I pray God will continue to convict you.

      I agree that when people use it they don't necessarily think of the meaning "sexual intercourse." It's a multi-purpose cuss word that can add a crude flavor to just about anything.

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  14. God will free you from this sin of cursing but you must repent & actively participate in stopping. He will convict you & also if you truly want to stop, it will be wiped from your language.
    I have a friend who is not saved who’s every other word is using God’s name in vain. She is not concious she is doing it & it doesn’t bother her. I cringe each time as that is my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ whom she curses each time. It is painful to hear, she is lost & desperately needs saving. Repenting is key to being delivered from this sin.
    Wonderful message. Thank you. God Bless.

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    1. I have a friend who claims to be a Christian, but REGULARLY curses and even sometimes says the F word and isn't bothered when even the kids and grandkids do it. It is offensive to me, but how can you tell someone like this that they need to clean up their language?

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    2. Dear Unknown (Feb. 8, 2020) who asked how to approach a friend who uses bad language:

      This is a good question and the answer may vary depending on the relationship with the person and their faith or lack of it.

      But since your friend claims to be a Christian, I think it would be appropriate to tell your friend that it really bothers your spirit when you hear him cuss. You could tell him that you really appreciate his friendship but you are having trouble with his language. And you also could share some of the Scriptures in this devotion and tell him that he will actually feel better spiritually if he stops using bad language because we definitely draw closer to the Lord when we obey His commands.

      As I said, there are many variables involved in this situation, so ask God's help in approaching your friend. He may give you a unique way to share this truth with him.

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  15. I personally cannot stand the F-word coming from any one person. My children and grandchildren thing nothing of throwing it around! This word is a despicable and disgusting affront to our senses.

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    1. I so agree with you "Unknown". My granddaughter told me "it is our culture". Oh really???? My children and grandchildren are a great disgrace to me because of "their culture", language and promiscuity. I can go on all day, but it wouldn't do any good.

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    2. You can influence your grandchildren. They will listen. They may not appear to but if you love them you will never stop trying.My kids were pretty rough but now are wonderful church attending parents who have gradually learned to live in Christ. They will listen if everything you show them is born of love. Your children should never be a disgrace to you because they might still be learning. Don't give up! God is not giving up on us so we cannot give up on the kids.

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  16. Yeah, any swear word is filthy. I just want to say this. My older brother has mild schizophrenia which I believe he has demonic oppression in his life. When he talks aloud at times, the F-Word, the bs*t word comes out of his mouth quite regularly at times. He does this more often when the school terms starts when my mum and my son are at schools. I am glad I stick to God's Word every day. That never fails me. Has any other family members got similar problems with schizophrenia and swearing in their families?

    Brother in Christ
    Matt

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  17. Holy Spirit revealed to me when you curse it hurts your own body ( health) and invites curses into your finances and it can cause you to lose peace of mind. It’s like when you say #s—-, you are dumping a wheelbarrow of manure in your loving room, or the f bomb is like opening up yourself to the sprit of cancer. Very dangerous— you are hurting other people and yourself

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  18. My friend swears a lot and sometimes it includes Christian terms. This friend brought me to Jesus and it physically hurts my spirit most of the time when they do it. I'll admit I sometimes swear too but it seems easier for my friend. This article was helpful! Thank you!!

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  19. Matthew 12.36 says we will be judged for every idle word that comes out of our mouth.....its and what has become acceptable. Its not to late for this country to turn from its wicked ways. But I believe its getting close

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  20. Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...;" I believe that this is from where the origins of using curse words emanates. Societal norms and traditions especially in the U.S. have been in decline since the nineteen forties; they are constantly being challenged, then fall apart and then change to some "newer" and thus acceptable norm; the "Leave it to Beaver" perception was the perception of the Godly family during the nineteen fifties however went out of popular perception with the decay of the traditional nuclear family. So, the generation which believed that this was a Godly image felt a subconscious failure before God as within a matter of a decade the nuclear family was no longer perceived as "godly;" at this point some people simply "give up," "let go" and "loose character;" In the American South I believe that they refer to this behavioral phenomenon as "breaking bad."
    Furthermore a large proportion of society does not believe in God in the first place; so, they have no conscious or moral obligation to put for effort in order to behave properly before God. They end up using curse words for effect, i.e., colorful language in order to create emphasis when they are emotional--also called catharsis. I've always heard that even if you don't believe in God then using curse words is at least a sign of both a lack of intelligence and a lack of character (whether using curse words intermittently or on a consistent basis).

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  21. Yes it hurts me to hear this word.

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  22. If I see a meme that uses a cuss word or semi-disguised cuss word, I don't 'like' it, even though I may agree very much with the general sentiment. I don't want to support that kind of thing.

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  23. I got saved 6 years ago and so did my husband, we started reading the Bible together daily. I never tried to quit cussing it just happened, it was a direct result from reading Gods word. His word renews our minds and gives us the mind of Christ. It truly sad that so many claim to be born again believers but they never read Gods word. Without it they will never grow to be of any real use for the Lord.

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    1. Great point, Andrea.
      Before I got saved, I used to use the phrase "Good Lord!" as an expletive. After I'd been saved for several months, I realized I'd quit saying it even though I'd never intentionally thought it through.

      I agree with you that as we renew our minds in God's Word, things happen!

      Thanks for addressing that important point.

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  24. Idle words are not pleasing to the Lord. Most every phrase we substitute has references back to taking the Lord's name in vain including: Gees is Jesus
    OMG is Oh my God
    Oh my lanta is Oh my Lord
    And so many other ones. If we do not truly know the meaning of the phrases we use, we should internet search them. Our measure should be if God is please with our words, not our ignorance "oh I did not know" or "I do not mean it that way". Facts are still facts inspite of our ignorance.

    Let our words be seasoned with grace and love and care.

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  25. How can you worry yourself with what comes out of peoples mouths? Actions speak louder than words and if someone is faithful and likes to cuss, why do you or should you care?

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    1. So if a neighbor tells you they are going to kill your child but never attempts to kill your child, you aren't going to worry yourself with what comes out of his mouth?

      Or, if a co-worker spreads false rumors about you in the workplace, but treats you nicely, you aren't going to worry about it?

      And if you hear a mother cussing out her child in public, but she doesn't hit him, you aren't going to worry about it?

      But, Shesh, the bottom line is this:
      You're criticizing God, not me.

      God wrote these verses that tell us that what we speak is important. In fact, in Matthew 15:11, Jesus said the words that come out of our mouths can "defile" us.

      Actions speak louder than words is a phrase that applies when your words are good and your actions are bad. It doesn't mean that evil words are okay as long as you don't act on them.

      If someone cusses and uses bad language, they aren't being faithful to God's commands Ephesians 4:29; 5:4 and in the other Scriptures linked above.

      If I could guess, I imagine you or someone you know has a problem with bad language and you'd like to excuse it.

      Why should I care?
      Because God told me (and every other Christian) to care.



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  26. The "F" bomb is actually an acronym. "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge." It is a law still in some states but back in it's heyday, it was used for those copulating with anyone other than their spouse. Law personel grew weary of writing out the full charges and therefore made a shortened version. That which we hear daily. If they only knew what they were really spouting, they would sound absolutely silly going around saying, "Well for Unlawful Carnal Knowledge!". Puts a whole new perspective on it. Does it not?

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    1. Interesting story, but it's not true. You can check it out on Snopes.com or google the origin of the word.

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    2. Fortification under consent of the king. Rumored that you had to jave the kings permission in that time period.

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    3. Another fake explanation for the word, Unknown. Again, check it out on snopes or some reliable source. I'm sure that in order to justify its use people can come up with all sort of acronyms that aren't actually true. How about Foolish Unkind Crude Kibosh.

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  27. I have often wondered who got to decide which words are bad and which ones are good. Not being critical, just sincerely have wondered. I believe the intent of the heart behind the words matter. Any thoughts?

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    1. Who decides a dog should be called a dog? Who decides a kitchen should be called a kitchen? Who decides we should put a period at the end of a sentence?

      I'm not sure your question has an answer, but does it really matter who decides?

      Until our moral values declined, this word was banned or bleeped from television and movies. And despite the decline in our morals, even the movie industry thinks it's not fit for children under 13: the use of the f-word makes a movie PG-13. So no matter who decided, it has always been considered a cuss word.

      I have never met anyone who thought the f-word was polite or wholesome. Have you? So what intent of the heart would make this word appropriate?

      The F-word is a crude word meaning sexual intercourse used as an expletive. It's often used to cuss another person out, so anyone doing that would have bad intents in their heart.

      But let's suppose someone uses it merely as an exclamation. For example, they say "I'm so f-ing happy." Is it appropriate to say, "I'm so sexual intercourse happy"? No. And since the word has no legitimate meaning in that phrase, it's obvious that it's only purpose is as a cuss word.

      There's really no appropriate use for the word, so I'm not sure how someone could use it with good intentions in their hearts. And it's not necessary to use the word, so whoever uses it makes a choice to use a cuss word when they could use a wholesome word instead.

      God commands us not to use unwholesome words, obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, so Christians want to avoid the f-word because it offends our Lord even if it doesn't offend our friends (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4).

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  28. firstly i must say i do not condone swearing. however the problem is not inherent in the word used it is in the thought,the intent, the emotion of the person saying the word. what i find hypocritic is substituting other "safer"words for swear words.
    A word is just a noise , a collection of pressure waves in the air around us. a swear word in another language is still a swear word even if it is not a swear word in english. if you have anger in your heart and say "gosh" was not the intent still there even though the word was safe?
    Speaking Godly comes from thinking Godly.

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    1. Tim,

      You say words are just noises, but Jesus says words can defile us (Matthew 15:11).

      You say words are only a collection of pressure waves in the air, but God's Word says some words are unwholesome, obscene, foolish, and coarse (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4).

      I'm going to believe God.

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  29. I was saying the same thing to my husband today! It saddens me when I hear or see foul language especially among so called christians.

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  30. Or maybe that scripture has nothing to do with the perceived foul curse word itself and more to do with context of what is being said. But that wouldn't be near as much fun to not have that to look down your puritanical noses in judgment would it. Wasn't there one about "judge not"? I'd sure like to think God has way more important things on his mind with all that's going on in the world but sure - knock yourselves out.

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    1. Hi Unknown,

      Let’s look at your comment:
      YOU WROTE: “Or maybe that scripture has nothing to do with the perceived foul curse word itself and more to do with context of what is being said.”

      MY RESPONSE: So, when Ephesians 4:29; 5:4 says “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… Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” you believe it’s only referring to these things when they don’t fit the context. You believe that when it fits the context, God is just fine with us using obscenity, foolish talk, coarse joking, and unwholesome words.

      And when Psalm 19:14 say: “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer,” you believe that you can use the F-word or any other cuss word and please the Lord, as long as it fits the context.

      And when Colossians 3:8 says you must rid yourself of “filthy language” you believe it means we must rid ourselves of filthy language unless they fit the context.

      And when Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace,” you believe that gracious conversations can include the f-word.

      And when Jesus said things that come out of a man’s mouth can defile him (Matthew 15:11), you don’t think he was not referring to rude words like the f-word.

      Your beliefs mean God is a very poor communicator since these Scriptures don’t even hint at your belief about context.

      YOU SAID: But that wouldn't be near as much fun to not have that to look down your puritanical noses in judgment would it. Wasn't there one about "judge not"?

      MY RESPONSE: The two words you quote (“judge not”) come from Matthew 7:1-4 and since you are interested about using words in context, I’m surprised that you’ve definitely taken these two words out of context. They speak about hypocritical judgement. For example, if I wrote a devotion about God’s commands regarding our speech but I regularly used cuss words without repentance, then I would be a big hypocrite.

      But that’s not true, so let me use an example of hypocritical judgement that is true:
      Suppose someone read a devotion explaining God’s commands in Scripture (a devotion that didn’t resort to name-calling or rude language), and he/she wrote a rude comment that said that anyone who disagreed with his/her view had fun looking down their puritanical noses in judgement on others. That’s a perfect example of the type of hypocrisy that “judge not” rebukes: harshly judging people and in the very next sentence claiming God doesn’t want us to judge others.

      BTW: There are multiple Scripture passages about appropriate ways and times we are supposed to judge people, teachings, and circumstances. And God clearly commands us to teach His commands in Scripture.
      YOU WROTE: I'd sure like to think God has way more important things on his mind with all that's going on in the world but sure - knock yourselves out.

      MY RESPONSE: God doesn’t agree with you:

      Matthew 12:35-36: A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for EVERY EMPTY WORD they have spoken. (Emphasis is mine).

      Our God is never “too busy.” He cares about every little thing we do. He not only cares if we use words like the f-word in our speech, He cares when we write rude comments on blogs even when we do it anonymously.

      Luke 12:6-7: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

      Luke 16:10: "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

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  31. The interpretation varies. What I read, is that we shouldn’t speak negatively (unwholesome) about ourselves, because our words have power. ‘Curse words’ aren’t even a thing lol

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    1. CamBam,
      Scripture is so clear. There is not variation in interpretation. Every person who disagrees with this devotion is disagreeing with Scripture.

      And there is nothing in Scripture that would even suggest that what we say about ourselves is the only thing that matters. "What you read" isn't found in Scripture. And your comment is completely contradictory. You believe our words have power but there's no such thing as a curse word.

      The bottom line is this: we can choose to obey the clear teaching of Scripture or we can make excuses.


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