Is vile speech acceptable, particularly if a person is simply quoting someone else?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I was raised by my grandmother after my mother died of alcoholism. Grandma instilled in me a love for Jesus by leading me to Christ and teaching me how to read and understand the Scriptures. When I would try out a nasty word on her, emulating my friends, instead of slapping my mouth, she opened the Bible and helped me memorize 1 Corinthians 15:33. To this day at 55 years old, whenever I hear a friend or colleague express themselves using corrupt language, these words come to mind. It seems that society has successfully convinced the populace — even people within the church — that vile speech is acceptable, particularly if a person is simply quoting someone else. Surely, man cannot redefine the standard. – B.L.
A: The Bible speaks of corrupt language. Paul writes: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
Cursing, telling smutty stories, smearing the good name of another, and referring irreverently to God and the Scriptures may be considered as coming under the expression of corrupt speech. Many people engage in immorality just by the way they talk. Our speech is to be clean, pure, and wholesome.
Good conduct takes in our associations. The Bible says that evil companionships corrupt good morals (see 1 Corinthians 15:33). This condemns all business, social, fraternal, and religious associations in which unchristian principles and practices govern.
We are responsible for what we put into our minds. Each of us has a tongue and a voice. These instruments of speech can be used destructively or employed constructively. When our speech is under the control of God’s Spirit, He will make it an instrument of blessing.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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