, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

May 7, 2012

Fort Faith: God’s word has a lot to say about our choice of words

— Recently, a young man informed me that a person’s morals are not determined by their choice to use foul language.  

He said, “They’re just words.”

In cliché form, that would be, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  

And while that is true in some cases, better wording might be “You shouldn’t judge a book only by its cover.”

But to say, “They’re only words!?”

And somehow think any of us, Christians or not, has a “green light” to spew curse words whenever and wherever.

That is far from God’s truth! True, the First Amendment gives Americans the right to free speech.

Thank God for that!

But just because we have certain rights as citizens does not mean we should take every road available to us.

In First Corinthians 6:12 (ESV) Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”

This includes our speech. Paul strongly encourages Christians to watch what they say.

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”  (Colossians 3:8, NIV)

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Eph. 5:4, ESV)

There are other scriptures that make it even clearer the connection between the words we speak, to the person we are on the inside, and ultimately the condition of our soul.

Think about these two quotes from Jesus.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”  (Luke 6:45,ESV)

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Matthew 12:36-37 (ESV)

Yes, God’s grace is a wonderful thing.

Our sins would send us straight to hell without it.

But we must all remember these words of Paul.

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)  

Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or

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