On Dave Black’s website his wife Becky put up an article on the issue of Christians and cursing. Then Andy Bowden responded (mostly just adding on to Becky’s comments). You can seem them here:
If it is fine, I wanted to pitch into the conversation as well, not repeating what they said (I hope) but adding on, from the issue of cursing as profanity.
Generally speaking, I tend to see the primary problem of cursing as that of anger (either momentary anger or the indication of something deeper going on).
Generally speaking, (always problems when speaking of generalities – so I have my little weird thing I say “typically usually mainly in most cases though not always, typically usually mainly… this is often when I want to make an assertion that is not always true as though it is) when a person is cursing, or cussing… it is out of anger or angry frustration.
Cursing is the symptom while anger is the reason for the cursing, while some other thing(s) is/are the reason for the anger. The cursing/cussing person is an angry person or a person dealing with anger issues. Have I said angry enough? Well you get the picture then because cursing is like that, it gets repeated or is every other word and the more angry a person is the more often it occurs. Well, at least, I haven’t ever come across nice cursing/cussing, and I don’t know too many people who use profanity and aren’t angry people or aren’t dealing with some level of anger.
So, when confronting someone who is cursing or whose speech is laced with profanity, it is perfectly legitimate to ask them why they are so angry. That would be getting to the heart of the issue.
So, then the question might become, is it wrong to be angry? Well, no, not usually. It is part of being human, and there are all too often perfectly legitimate reasons for being angry. But even in our anger we are not to sin and are to maintain self-control, nor should we allow that anger to gain control over us or our hearts. It’s even okay to be angry at God – more of us probably need to get out to some lone field somewhere and have a cuss out session with God so we can get it out on the table and begin to resolve the problem…. (read more of the Psalms for examples of this) (don’t worry, God won’t be offended, he wants you to deal with it. It’s just that most of us don’t want to or we are too fearful we might offend God, though that can be pretty hard to do sometimes).
So, I see the cursing person as one who is battling an anger problem and has or is on the verge of losing self-control. Anger indicates to us something is in need of our dire attention.
What to do then? Well we need to accept the fact that we might be dealing with an anger problem and get help. We can usually try to overcome it on our own but often anger is a bigger problem than we are and we often need help from others to identify the root of what has caused the anger (i.e., unmet needs, unresolved grief, loss of a job or income or relationship, etc, loss of control over some thing, unfulfilled dreams or expectations, etc), so we can begin to confront that issue and begin to move forward and be free from anger.
That’s how I see it.