Swearing and Cursing?

What Does the Bible Say About Swearing and Cursing?

By Betty Miller

Matthew 15:1:1 “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

Matthew 15:17-20: “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

Curse Words Reveal the Condition of a Man’s Heart
Jesus taught in the Bible that when a man curses or uses profanity it is a sign of evil that was in that man’s heart. It is popular today for both men and women to curse. They never think of it as an evil condition in their heart, but rather a small thing that everyone does. These small words of cursing the Bible says, will defile the whole man if they are not repented of and stopped. Cussing and using the name of the Lord in vain causes one to become defiled.

Popular movies and T.V. are responsible for causing society to accept foul language as the “norm.” They portray cursing as a way to vent anger and tell people off. The very attitudes behind cursing show that it is not right as cussing is used to demean and put down people. These words can be mild expletives to horrible blasphemies. Since the devil is the one who inspires these evil utterances he causes people to use our Lord’s name in the most ungodly ways.

In the modern definition of cursing, usually people use the name of Jesus or God in vain and swear with curses such as “go to hell” or “damn you.” These words clearly show it is an evil coming from the devil. Have you ever wondered why people do not not use the names of gods of other religions when they curse? The names that the devil hates and uses people to voice hateful curses are “God,” “Christ,” “Jesus Christ” and “Jesus.” Terms about hell and heaven are also used in derogatory ways. The very misuse of these words should prove the existence of God and the reality of a heaven and hell.

Even Christians have been tricked into using bad expressions when they are upset. They are take-offs of the Lord’s names such as: “Geeze” or “Jes” (short for Jesus), “Good Gosh,” “Gosh Darn,” “Lordy.” This is known as “shoot cussin.” There are other terms used, which we will not repeat, as they are vulgar profanities. However, these illustrations make the point.

Many good movies have been ruined for Christians because the script writers thought adding profane language (which they refer to as adult language) somehow made the movie more realistic. Adults nor children should use bad language if we are to be like our Lord. We do not have to use curse words to emphasize our intentions.

Colosians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

Matthew 5:37: “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

If swearing and cursing have been a problem in your life ask the Lord to forgive you and deliver you so that your words may be good and loving words full of grace and truth. He will help you overcome this problem through His power.

Matthew 12:34-36: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Speech and conversation tell a great deal about one’s character. “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). We learn much about our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son Jesus, by reading how Jesus conversed with the Father in prayer (Luke 22:41,42). The profanity and obscene talk of ungodly people reveal the nature of their hearts.

Spoken words have unbelievable power. Words are described as weapons, as swords and arrows (Psa. 57:4; 64:3; Jer. 9:8). James describes the power of the tongue and its words as the rudder of a ship or a spark that sets a forest on fire (James 3:2-12). Christians observe the power of the spoken word today in political propaganda and media news.

9. Is using profanity really a sin?

Read Matthew 5:33–37. Jesus says you don’t need to enforce your words with contrived utterance, and He has set rules regarding oaths.


We are looking at this passage to gain a better understanding of the problem of profanity. Although this passage doesn’t specifically address profanity in name, if Jesus says you don’t need to enforce your words with contrived utterance, then He has made a case against the general use of profanity right there. The general use of profanity is to buttress the force of your words. In this passage we see Jesus not just setting down rules regarding oaths, but rather wanting to cultivate a culture of people whose word is sufficient—their words count.

“For everything that is more than this is of the evil one.” (Mt. 5:37) To begin with “more than this” are of the evil one because they come from a context of either exaggeration or deception. Jesus establishes the whole realm of exaggeration and deception, including profanity and of course blasphemy, as being of a spirit.

A.        A Definition

1.   Profanity is a quest for some emotional release in language when we are mad or of fortification of what you are saying.

2.   There is a spirit of profanity that hovers in our world and fosters speech that is inordinate. Profanity is a problem that is around us in so many areas. It is a significant issue today.

B.         Blasphemy and Profanity

1.   Profanity is foul language. Blasphemy is against the Lord, using His name.

2.   Most people saying blasphemous words don’t even know they are saying it. They are just flowing in the spirit of the world. But we should flow in the love and goodness of God.

3.   Profanity with the believer is a token of a residue of the spirit of the world that is still seeking a place of dominion in our lives.

C.         Wisdom

1.   Proverbs 8:7–9—The flow of wisdom. One of the notable aspects of wisdom in the book of Proverbs is that it is creative. There is a life begetting, creative quality to wisdom so that sound expressions of the lips are conducive to prosperity and fruitfulness. It begets life! It is creative! (Also see Prov. 15:4; 18:21; 21:23)

2.   With the profane influences on television and movie screens we can find ourselves, just as our culture, becoming numb to the use of such words.

D.          Nine things that have to do with the power of profanity

1.   It instills a reticence to speak righteously.

2.   It creates or extends an atmosphere of hostility.

3.   It substitutes brassy speech for genuine boldness.

4.   It diminishes the creative power of the tongue.

5.   It acclimates the mind to the world spirit.

6.   It sacrifices character on the alter of acceptance.

7.   It depends on shock or crudity to establish either authority or to create humor.

8.   It cheapens or desecrates life’s most precious relationships.

9.   It erodes sensitivity toward ultimate, eternal issues.

E.               What should we do?

1.   Confront it in yourself.

a.   Confess it as sin.

b.   Call for deliverance.

There are at least ten or twelve spirits that relate to profanity. (i.e. spirits of profanity, uncleanness, lust, fear and intimidation, hatred, anger, murder, death, blasphemy, anti-Christ, and rebellion.

c.   Be cleansed in the blood of Jesus.

Believe the Lord will wash your mouth with His blood.

2.   Seek to influence others.

The Lord will give us times to speak and we need to be available to speak what He gives us.

3.   Train your children correctly.

a.   Begin early with your children to let them know they will hear words that they may not know or understand. Let them know that “we do not use those words.”

b.   Identify meanings. Let them know, as is appropriate, what these words mean and explain clearly.

c.   Periodically ask your children if they have heard any words.

d.   Acknowledge to your children that sometimes the use of the word will be funny and they will laugh. Help them to not feel ashamed. This will help them remain open to you and to conversations and will inhibit the thought that because they laughed they are “bad” or the enemy has some kind of control over them in this regard.

Copyright ©2003 by Christ Unlimited Publishing, Dewey, Arizo