Leviticus 5:1 “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.”
You realize your age when the culture has changed as dramatically as it has in the last couple of decades. What was socially unacceptable in the past is now portrayed as protected behavior. One of those things is the allowance for cursing.
I can vividly remember the first time I tried to use a swear word. I sat in the kitchen with a bar of Ivory soap in my mouth for what seemed like an eternity. Looking back, I learned never to swear in front of my parents.
When I arrived at boot camp in San Diego, CA, I heard some of the foulest language used as regular conversation. I learned words I didn’t know previously existed.
After I left the Marine Corps, I tried to fit into healthy civilian life. One of the things that needed to clean up was my language. Try though I may, a few curse words slipped out at the wrong time and apologies were made to cover my mistake.
It wasn’t until I got saved that I realized how foul my mouth had become. The sweet Spirit of God convicted me that those words were never to come out of my lips again, and I confessed and repented of it.
As I read my regular reading for today, I must confess, this is the first time that this verse has taken hold of me, or that I took notice of it.
As a Christian in the world today, we allow far too much of this world’s sinfulness to bathe over our eyes and our ears that we have become numb to how much it grieves the Holy Spirit of God.
Almost any movie out of Hollywood these days breaks all ten commandments. If you don’t believe me, write the commandments on a piece of paper and check off each one when they are violated. You will be surprised to find there are far more than we would care to admit!
Now, couple our text verse with a verse from the psalmist, David.
Psalm 101:2-4 “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”
Whether it is in the form of a movie, a book, a digital podcast, music, or any media that can enter our ears or eye-gate, we must be on guard as to what we allow in.
You might say, “But what about when others curse or take the name of God in vain in my presence?” Our verse says that if we do nothing, we are guilty.
I recall a time when the Holy Spirit helped me with this in my workplace. There were a couple of instances where someone spewed out cursing like it was their second language. My heart was so grieved, I had to say something. I silently prayed for the Lord to help me confront this man who clearly thought it ok to take the Lord’s name in vain.
I told him that I needed to confront him about something that was bothering me. I said that whenever he used the Lord’s name like that, I was offended. To bring home the point, I said it was like me saying his mother was a whore – to which he took great offense at that – point taken.
So, my ask was simply this; that when he and I worked together, that he tries to refrain from using such language in my presence. He softened and said; “I have been trying to quit. My wife hates it when I use that language at home.”
We, as God’s children, need to stand against the direct insult of the world’s casual use of God’s name as a curse word. We must police ourselves at home as to what comes into our eyes and our ears. But more importantly, we must stand against its use in our places of work.
Think of it – that’s MY God they are cursing! That’s MY Savior they are associating with such vile things! I must take a stand… He stood before the world to declare His love for me, the least I can do is stand for Him in this world!
To confront someone is not an easy thing.
Before you do, pray. Realize that they may not even know what they are doing. If unsaved, they need to be gently brought along to understand that in your presence, such things are unacceptable. If you confront them and they cannot or refuse to change, you have taken a stand for which I believe God is accepting.
Often, in that situation, I will gently remind them that I am praying for them.
They will say, “Why are you praying for me?”
Then, I’ll say, “That you come to know the peace and joy, and happiness that I have found in Christ.”
Without Jesus, they will act just like their father, the devil. Our silent prayer should be that they stop cursing; yes. But, more importantly, that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That way, they will have the help of the Holy Spirit to guide them through what they may not be able to do themselves.