One thing I find myself continuously being upset about is hearing “bad language” escape from people’s mouths. It’s hard to even walk through a store without hearing somebody in conversation just polluting the atmosphere with unclean speech. It is so normal today for people to say the worst of things without any conviction. It’s difficult for me to hear, but there is good that comes out of this – an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for us as God’s people to stand apart. The Bible says a lot about unwholesome talk.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” – Colossians 3:8
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” – Ephesians 5:4
There are over 40 verses in the Bible which speak on this topic, so I have to believe that it’s a topic that’s very important to God. Unfortunately, it’s also a much overlooked topic in today’s society.
All throughout High School, people would insult me for acting “like a child” because I didn’t swear. They would get annoyed with me, and tell me “they’re just words!” In actuality – they just didn’t understand my convictions. I wanted “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable in His sight” (Psalm 19:14). Matthew 15:11 states that “it’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of it.” The verse I held onto most, though, was James 3:10, which stated: “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” – James 3:10
That verse really spoke to me, and I’ve held onto it for years. If I sing praises to God and pray for others on Sunday, but then allow unwholesome and polluting speech come out of my mouth on Monday, I’m not being the best witness to God that I can be. Oftentimes, the flesh takes over and people say unclean things out of anger or frustration – that’s why Jesus came to die so that His people might live. However, it’s important that we try our very hardest to only allow speech that glorifies God to come out of our mouths. People saw me as “different” in High School because I didn’t allow myself to partake in wholesome speech, and even though they didn’t necessarily “like” it, and even though it was hard for me at times, I like to think that was an area in which I was very effective in living out my testimony. I think we have such an awesome opportunity in front of us. We have the opportunity to point others to God, even through the small things! It’s such an encouragement!
Erin Culleny is a new member of America’s Keswick’s full-time staff. Erin serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She had served on Summer Staff since 2011, and this past summer had the unique opportunity of co-directing Children’s Ministry with one of her best friends. She is very excited to continue to build relationships with the guests and be very involved in the ministry.