I’ve been thinking a lot about bad words lately. What makes a word bad? Is it because society says they are bad? Or is there an absolute that keeps the good words good and the bad words bad? I have thought about this for weeks and am not really sure how I feel about it.
We hear bad words every day. On TV, in the movies, at the store…everywhere. I have heard them spoken by God fearing people and by people who could care less about God.
I have been told…
- They are just words.
- They are just words to better express how we feel.
- Bad words are bad words only to the people who think they are bad. (???)
- You say shoot instead of sh_t, so how is that any better?
Okay, so it’s true. I sometimes say shoot. So what makes that better than saying the real thing? Why is it okay to say shoot but not sh_t? And why is it okay to type the word sh_t when it has a letter missing? Why do I feel the need to do that instead of typing the whole word. I am not using it in a bad way, but talking about it in an essay.
And that brings up another question. What makes bad words okay to use to express your feelings? Is it only bad when directed at someone else?
When you use bad words to insult someone, yes, that is terrible. You should never say things to hurt another person…with or without bad words. But how about using bad language when you hurt yourself and are angry? You are just expressing yourself, right? But why isn’t it okay to just say ouch?
I don’t really have any answers to all my questions, but I do know what the scriptures say about the words I speak.
- May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
- Keep your mouth free of perversity (corrupt, improper); keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:24
- …the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful in building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
- Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. Brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:10