James 3:8 states, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Sins emanating from the tongue are numerous. Perhaps profanity is one of the most common sins of the tongue to those both without and within the church of my Lord. In Exodus 20:7 the Record reads, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that you would never take God’s name in vain. However, it is possible to do so and never realize or intend it to be that way. Webster defines “in vain” as to meaning “(2) in an irreverent or blasphemous manner (‘you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…’ Deut. 5:11)….” While we are in Webster’s Dictionary let’s notice a few words that you may have heard in the past few days:
“Gosh”—a euphemism for God
“Golly”—a euphemism for God
“Gee”—euphemistic contraction for Jesus
“Darn”—damn; a euphemism for the curse
“Doggone”—a euphemistic remodeling for God, damn, darn
“Heck”—an exclamation used as euphemism for hell
Have you been doing any “second hand cursing” lately? We need to consider Webster’s definition for a “euphemism”—“the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also: the expression so substituted.” Perhaps we need to explain that substituted expression is intended not to offend mankind, however, can we be certain that such is not offensive to God?
Christ said in Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” God’s Word says through James 3:9-11,
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
It is high time that many who are Christians learn to tame the tongue. If you have uttered careless words or second hand cussing, it may be time to “clean up” your speech in view of coming judgment. Tame that tongue or that tongue will tame you and take you where you don’t want to be!