Matthew 12:36–37 (CSB) — 36 I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Why does God care about what comes out of our mouths? In light of all the evil and suffering in our world, cussing often seems like such a trivial concern to us. This sentiment was seen in the opening scene of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, when Ironman cusses and Captain America responds, “Watch your language”, which became a thematic punchline throughout the whole movie mocking Captain America’s naivety until he finally cussed in the end of the movie. We have also seen so-called “cussing pastors” popularize in the Church the Christian’s supposed liberty to cuss.
The point is that our culture is saturated with profanity and mocks those who guard their word.
So, why does God care so much about our words?
THE ALTAR OF PRAISE IS HOLY TO THE LORD
Hebrews 13:15 (CSB) — 15 Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Our lips are the altar upon which the sacrifices of praise are offered to God, therefore, our lips must be holy to the Lord.
Psalm 71:8 (CSB) — 8 My mouth is full of praise and honor to you all day long.
Psalm 89:1 (CSB) — 1 I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever; I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations with my mouth.
Romans 15:6 (CSB) — 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.
Psalm 119:13 (CSB) — 13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from your mouth.
We declare with our mouths the praises of Christ’s glory from our heart!
Would we take the sacred vessels of the temple and use them for common purposes? We cannot praise God with mouths that have cursed people who are made in his image, blasphemed his name, and uttered shameless profanities.
WARNING OF JUDGMENT
Matthew 12:34 (CSB) — 34 Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
The biggest lie that we hear today about the language we use is that our impure speech does not reflect an impure heart.
You cannot curse unless cursings reside in your heart; you cannot use filthy language unless filthiness abides in your heart; and you cannot blaspheme unless blasphemy resides in your heart.
Colossians 3:6–8 (CSB) — 6 Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29–31 (CSB) — 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice.
These things, along with the hatred, slander, and lies that pour forth from our mouth, are wicked abominations that defile the altar of God upon which we offer his holy praises.
Therefore, we must put off the old way of sinful living and be renewed in Christ:
Ephesians 4:20–24 (CSB) — 20 But [the practice of impurity -v. 19] is not how you came to know Christ, 21 assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.