Ad Spot

Profanity and following Jesus?

FRANKLIN LIVING—

To say that profanity is prevalent in our culture is an understatement.

It is difficult to find a television show completely absent of inappropriate language. It is not uncommon to hear profanity being used when out and about. Occasionally, we get yet another story of a politician being caught on a hot mic using language he would never use on the campaign trail.

Several years ago, an NFL player went Facebook Live from the team locker room during the head coach’s post-game team meeting. While the player was wrong for violating the confidentiality of a closed-door meeting, it was certainly less than flattering for his coach. This look behind the curtain seemed to reveal that the real guy in the locker room was much less clean than his press conference persona would have had us believe.

The prevalence of profanity is nothing new, and it isn’t going away any time soon – but it is troubling when we claim to be following Jesus but also use foul language.

In Matthew 12, Jesus reminds us that the words we use reveal our true character. After addressing the difficulty of taming the tongue, James laments that from the mouths of his Christian audience come both blessing and cursing. In James 3:10 he concludes, “These things ought not to be this way.”

Many preachers cringe a little – well, actually, a lot – when a person curses and then apologizes with, “I shouldn’t use that kind of language in front of the preacher.” Why do we cringe? We cringe because the person seems to be showing more respect for the preacher than for God! After all, an omnipresent and omniscient God is, in one sense, like Santa: He always knows what we’ve said.

Obviously, the best way to never have a problem with foul language is to never begin using it. But what if bad language is already a problem? How can it be overcome?

A quick internet search will reveal plenty of lists designed to help. Most include making use of a “swear jar.” You know the drill; say a bad word, and some of your money goes in the jar.

However, I propose that the best way to kick the bad language habit is to focus on one of the reasons it’s important: Beyond being condemned in both the Old and New Testaments, foul language simply doesn’t sound like Jesus.

Christians, as Christ-followers came to be called – see Acts 11:26 – are, according to Paul, ambassadors for Christ, according to 2 Corinthians 5:20. When we claim Jesus but then continue to curse, our ambassadorship suffers.

Most of us can successfully censor our language when necessary. Out of respect for the Lord, why not do so all the time? Further, imagine a day of no longer having to censor yourself because the foul and inappropriate words no longer come to mind. It is possible, and by cleaning up our language, we can better represent the Savior we claim to be following.


Philip Goad is the minister at North Highlands Church of Christ in Russellville. He is married to Marla, and they have a daughter, Kayla Thorne, who is married to Josh. They also have a son, Preston, and one grandchild, Greyson Thorne.

Franklin County

RFD, RPD seek community support for Helping Santa toy drive

Franklin County

Farm-City Banquet announces this year’s award winners

Franklin County

Hodges lights Memory Tree next week

News

Local artist, author holds signing for new picture book

Franklin County

FCS board hears building project updates, report from audit manager

News

Russellville City Schools Board of Education conducts monthly business

News

Red Bay fills board vacancy

News

Phil Campbell City Council accepts offer to lease cell tower for 99 years

Franklin County

ALEA urges safe holiday travel for Thanksgiving

Franklin County

Bank Independent welcomes holidays with Toy Share

News

Local author releases Christmas picture book

Franklin County

County commission closes Highway 27 bridge

Franklin County

Area schools hold Veterans Day programs to honor those who served

News

All American Tang Soo Do students compete in annual championship tournament

News

Friends of Russellville Library Board reorganizes, elects officers

News

Darryl Worley performs at Roxy

Franklin County

Helen Keller, Franklin County EMA offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Galleries

PHOTOS: Veterans Day Parade

Franklin County

Leadership committee seeks sock donations for Christmas

News

RB councilman resigns from water, gas board

News

PC Council discusses equipment, other needs

Franklin County

September unemployment rate comes in at 2.2 percent

News

RFD offers free alarms, including installation

Franklin County

University of Alabama Blackburn Institute students visit downtown Russellville

x