Is Cursing a Sin in the Bible?

Is Cursing a Sin in the Bible
Written by Christopher Turk

The Bible uses many violent phrases, sexual imagery, and harsh language without fear. As we’ve already seen, the Bible doesn’t hold back when using harsh words. However, it doesn’t fully answer the question, “Is swearing a sin?”

Cursing and swearing are ultimately the expressions of evil in one’s heart. Today’s popular culture makes extensive use of profanity and foul language. It doesn’t seem like a sin at first because it doesn’t always cause harm to another person.

So, what does the Bible say about cursing? Let’s dig a little deeper.

What Does The Bible Say About Cursing?

We all experience moments of anger and want to utter nasty things, yet Jesus claims that our words reflect our emotions. 

The Bible is rife with curse words. Almost 200 times in total, the word “curse” is used. God Almighty begins the Bible by swearing a lot.

Before God Almighty started cursing, we don’t read more than three chapters into Genesis. He swore at Satan for leading Adam and Eve astray (Genesis 3:17). When He cursed the ground to cause weeds to grow and make a man work hard and sweat copiously to support himself from the cursed earth, He indirectly cursed all of mankind (Genesis 3:17-19). God cursed Cain for killing his sibling in Genesis 4:10–12. These curses were all justly merited.

We may be unaware of how much the Bible has to say about “bad language.” Look at what the apostle Paul says regarding the language that Christians should choose:  “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift” (Ephesians 4:29, MSG). Paul continues, “There should not even be the most suggestion of sexual wrongdoing among you. Do not act immorally and try not to constantly crave more. These are not actions that God’s holy people ought to take. There must not be any vulgar language, silly conversation, or offensive jokes. They don’t belong there. Instead, express gratitude. (Ephesians 5:3-4, NIRV).

Profanity is always harmful and unpleasant. It equates to verbal abuse in truth, and Jesus had some significant things to say about the gravity of that problem. “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:22)

Instead, we ought to choose phrases that are uplifting and motivating. ”Let your words constantly be pleasant and seasoned with salt so that you will know how to respond to each person”, the apostle Paul advises. (Colossians 4:6, ESV).

How to Stop Cursing And Swearing?

Learn new methods to catch yourself, just like you would when giving up smoking or another bad habit. You may want to place the infamous swear jar where you frequently curse so that you may feel the pinch when you curse in both your heart and wallet (at home, at work, or out with friends). Alternately, you might carry a list of reasons why you shouldn’t swear around with you in your wallet or pocketbook as a continual reminder that you are not under the influence of swearing and that you would much prefer utter words of spiritual enrichment and worship to God than profanity.

No matter what you do, try to use less foul language each day. You’ll quickly swap out your foul language for encouraging phrases that honor the God who loves you all, including your dirty tongue, and raise others up.

Bottom Line

Some people decide that cursing will interfere with their spiritual connection to God. That’s wonderful. They must refrain from doing it, and we must be mindful of the language around them.

A couple of four-letter words don’t bother some people. There’s no need to condemn them. When the Bible is ambiguous, go with grace.

Let’s hold each other responsible for choosing our words carefully and uplifting others rather than tearing them down.

About the author

Christopher Turk

Christopher is the lead elder/pastor of the local Christian church in Penticton, British Columbia. He has a dedication to serving his Lord's church and a pulpit competence that honors the legacy of his predecessor. Christopher is a passionate visionary for the Lord and His Kingdom! His church ministry background spans over 30 years of full-time service.

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