Profanity
Kerby Anderson

While profanity is exploding in culture and society it should never be excused by people of faith.

Your children are facing an onslaught of profanity through the media. Movies are one place where profanity reigns. One survey has been tracking profanity in movies from the first swear word on film (1939’s Gone With the Wind) to The Wolf of Wall Street, which holds the record with 798 swear words. There has been a 500 percent increase over these many decades.

The Parents Television Council has documented the fact that the number of expletives on television programs has doubled in just the last decade. Kids and adults use more profanity simply because they hear it more than ever before.

Let’s start with a definition. The word “profane” means: to treat something that is sacred with abuse or contempt. It means to desecrate. Something profane is unholy. It is certainly not a positive attribute. What does the Bible teach?

Paul says in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” Colossians 3:8 say, “Rid yourselves of all things such as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”

Sometimes we hear young people say that it really doesn’t matter what you say, it is only words. Words make a difference. Make a joke in public about hijacking a plane and see if words have consequences. Make a derisive comment about people’s appearance to their face and see if they merely ignore it.

As believers, we should submit our vocabularies to the Lord. The world is watching us. 1 Peter (2:12) admonishes us to keep our “behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” In a world awash in profanity, Christians should watch what they say.

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