Most of my friends from home, and some on campus, swear.
Swearing is something the world regards as “bad.” On the radio, swearing is edited out of songs, on TV, swearing is edited out of movies containing an abundance of swearing and people are bleeped out on live TV.
At the same time, however, society doesn’t think twice about swearing. People do it all the time — f-bombs are dropped so often, people don’t think about it anymore. Swearing is so common nowadays, that when people don’t swear, it’s noticeable.
A friend, who swears often, once said to me, “Chelsea, you don’t ever swear, do you?” I explained why I don’t — as a Christ follower, I try to live my life differently from the rest of the world, and swearing is counterproductive to that.
As Christians, we are called to live a life that is separate from the world. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” If we’ve given our lives to Christ, our actions shouldn’t mirror the world’s, but His. By swearing, just like everyone else, we fail to recognize God’s command to live lives that reflect Him.
James 3:8-11 says, “With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
How can we praise God with words and tell him He’s holy and worthy one minute, then swear the next? It doesn’t add up to me.
Jesus himself cautions us to watch what we say, because we will be held accountable for every word, whether that’s gossip or swearing.
In Matthew 12:34-37, Jesus, while talking to the Pharisees, said, “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
I think it’s important for Christians to live such that the world questions why we choose to live according to a higher standard. Swearing is one way that Christians conform to the world they are set apart from.
Chelsea Tyler is an English and journalism double major. This opinion reflects the views of the author only.