What do you think?

I don’t know about you, but I do not like (loathe may be a better word) swearing.  I hear it more and more and it appears to have become part of everyday language all you need to do it catch a bus in the afternoon when the school students are on their way home and you will hear the most horrible language coming from quite young children.  It’s on our TVs, radios, movies (I doubt you could find many films that didn't contain swearing), newspapers – no one looks up when they hear swearing any more it is now considered part of the language of our times.

I have been told when I have said something that I am being “precious” and should “get over it”.  I don’t think I am and nor does the New South Wales Police Force.  I was reading a newspaper article earlier this week where a police officer charged a young man for swearing at him however the courts throw out the charges.  The magistrate told the police to become a little more “thick-skinned” or “get over it”.  Another magistrate said that one particular swear word (which I won't repeat here) had become "extremely commonplace" and had "lost much of its punch" dismissing the charge.  Basically it was now acceptable to swear.

According to the article “figures show recorded incidents of offensive language have been trending up over the past decade at a rate of more than 2 per cent each year”.   Police have recorded more than 6,700 such incidents in 2009 (this refers only to police been swore at).  Fortunately in my workplace none of my colleagues swear which is quite refreshing.

The English  language is full of so many wonderful words why then do people choice words that are nasty, insulting, vulgar profanities that add nothing to a sentence?

From a Christian perspective, we should be very careful what we say:  “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” James 1:26.  We please the Lord with our tongue when we show discernment . “He who restrains his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19) . When we do speak, we are to filter the words that escape our lips: “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (21:23).  It is important to use kind, positive words — even to address tough subjects. “A harsh word stirs up anger” but “the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly” (Prov. 15:1-2). 

To honour God in each part of life, use words that are pleasing and acceptable to a holy God.
(Last part taken from: Dave Branon: Our Daily Bread)

The tongue can be a blessing
And the tongue can be a curse;
Say, friend, how are you using yours:
For better or for worse? —Anon

What we say reveals who we are.


  1. There was a time when women, children, police, teachers and other such authorities demanded and gained respect by not accepting foul language... It really is too bad that is a thing of the past. Interesting post... I think in our day those words from Scripture are so important because when people hear bad language all the time I'm sure it makes it harder for them to keep their own mouths clean!

  2. I am sure teachers are sworn at every day as students have no respect at all - certainly not like we did at school.

    The more you hear it the more it sounds acceptable. If we swore as children (not that we did) we were threatened with soap and water to clean out our mouths! I can't remember it every happening so I am not sure if my parents would have really do it!

  3. It was the same for us, only I know my mother meant what she said because at least one of us did have our mouth washed out - and it wasn't over anything anywhere as near as bad as what kids get away with today!! :P

  4. I remember dad washing my brother's mouth out with soap and water once and knew he was serious about the 'no swearing' rule.

    I hate hearing the swearing that goes on everywhere. It's so sad that even my 4 year old knows even the worst swear words - learned from classmates at pre-school!

    I won't accept swearing in my house. My husband is in the army and is surrounded by bad language, but I am so glad he supports our own 'no swearing' rule. I tell my children to use their imagination and come up with a better adjective than the 'f' word.

  5. Beautiful post my friend. There has been such a downward spiral in the morals of today's society and especially children. They have lost all respect for adults because if we as adults "do" anything we get thrown in jail. It's sad really. Who are the courts really protecting.
    I'm with you on this, trust me!

  6. Words are so powerful. But the words always come from a heart and this reveals what attitude we have.

    Blessings to you today.

  7. I'm with you Jo.
    My husband & I do not swear in our home & the children (21, 18, 12yrs) know not to also. Its not something we actively decided on but has evolved that way & it shocks me to hear it (or read it) now. I'd be mortified if any of ours swore at teachers or police officers.

  8. Oh boy oh boy! You are preaching to the choir, sister! This is one of my all-time biggest pet peeves (and that is putting it mildly). Why, oh why, do we accept such horrid language? Like you said, the English language is filled with amazing words... beautiful words. There is no excuse for foul and profane language, other than ignorance and a heart that is woefully separate from God. And yes, as Christians, it is our duty, at the very least, to speak up and to not accept this language. It is hard, I know. I try to let people know that their language offends me, but it takes courage, because the kind of people who use this language generally have no problem using more to tell you how archaic and old-fashioned you are. It puts me in mind of the Israelites, especially during the books of Kings, and their accepting and adapting to the ways of the heathens with whom they lived. And the Bible tells us that each man did what seemed right in his own eyes. His OWN eyes. Like that's a standard we should follow! Bless you for writing this post. Well said!

  9. I enjoyed this post! One big reason for getting out of ward work at the hospital was to spare myself from listening to the language. Enjoy working with older people because their language is mostly much cleaner - though not always.
    Keep up your interesting posts, do enjoy reading them.

  10. Great post, Jo. This seems to be quite the controversy even in Christian circles....which amazes me. Who would have thought Christians would actually be debating the appropriateness of swearing. I didn't realize it until I came across a number of articles/blog posts about this very thing. I refuse to give in on this one! :) BTW, you have the most lovely graphics.

  11. I am with you totally on this one Jo... I was inspecting a house the other day, and the language that came out of these 2 mother's mouths, in front of their children, disturbed me no end. These poor children grow up thinking that it is totally normal. And yes, the words that were once rare and disgusting, are now so commonly used it is scary.

    I liked the quote you used: What we say reveals who we are. Spot on!

  12. Dear ladies - sometimes I think I am on my own with this dislike of swearing - now I know that I am not and I am not being "precious" when I say something.

    Amanda - the language that comes out childrens mouths (some still very young) just makes me sick in the stomach - and no one seems to be surprise anymore.

    Trisha - I cannot understand Christians who swear - I was brought never swear - it was considered WRONG. There is never an occasion where it is needed.

    Betsy - I am so fortunate that the men in my work team do not swear - one almost did the other day and stopped and apologized which I was pleased about.



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