Many people speak in such as way to cause grief to God and a reflection upon themselves.

It is beyond me how people can speak or act in that manner. In this lesson we will speak about four areas of improper language; vulgarity, cursing, lying and swearing.


The definition of vulgarity is something such as an act or expression that offends good taste or propriety. Another definition is the quality of lacking taste and refinement. Vulgarity is an example of bad manners, and bad taste in speech or behavior. The word vulgar means a person who is characterized by ignorance of or a lack of good breeding or taste. Another meaning of the word vulgar is indecent, obscene, lewd, lacking in distinction or charm. Vulgarity can cover many areas. If something is vulgar, we should not say the words or perform a vulgar action. We need to remember that any time vulgarity is used, in any form, it reflects back upon our character.

We want to make a good impression when we meet others. I always think of someone who is on a job interview, in hopes of landing the job, they are careful of their appearance. Picture someone who has spent time and thought into dressing appropriately, but when they speak or act suddenly, it is with rudeness, seemingly unconcerned about whom they offend. They take more time grooming themselves for their physical appearance, but neglect the use of proper speech.

Parents raise their children, but so often do not put the emphasis needed on the appropriate speech as God wants. Over and over in the Bible we are told how to use proper language, beginning in Exodus and ending in Revelation. Yet, people still use offensive speech and obscene actions. They may be trying to impress someone, but they are offending God and hurting themselves.


In James 3:10 we read " Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."

The definition of curse is the expression or wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc. befall a person or group. The first definition of the word curse is a formula or charm intended to cause misfortune to another. A second meaning of the word curse is a profane word or curse word.

Any curse involves being affected by disaster and insecurity. Having read what God says about cursing and knowing what it means, why would someone continue to perform that function?

And he who curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 21:17(NKJV)

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
Psalm 10:7(NKJV)

For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride. And for the cursing and lying which they speak.
Psalm 59:12(NKJV)


A lie is a falsehood meant to deceive people into believing something other than the truth.

If we look in Exodus 20 :16 God says ," You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us of the six things the Lord hates, seven are an abomination to Him.We read where lying and a false witness spreading lies made the list. We read in Proverbs 19:5 ,"A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape. "

Found in Titus 1:2 ,"... in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,"In Colossians 3:9 ," Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds."

When people tell lies, they are not only deceiving others, they are deceiving themselves. Thinking their lie won't be detected and feeling they are not doing anything wrong are other forms of self-deception. The dishonest person soon starts to believe the lie he tells, losing the potential to realize the distinction between truth and lies. A lie separates us from God and causes us to lose our integrity.

A lie is not always spoken, it may be a life that someone chose to live. Wishing to be included, people often will try to strongly affect the minds of others. This is another way of lying. They may be afraid of not being allowed in the group without spicing up their story or making themselves something they are not. When you are taunted or put-down for being honest, always remember that you are pleasing God by doing what is right.

In Revelation 21:27 we read,"But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."


The definition of an oath is a solemn confirmation of a promise or a course of action. Another definition is an irreverent or profane use of the name of the Diety or any sacred name or object. When someone is in a court of law as a witness, they take an oath before God to tell the truth. To avoid swearing in a court of law, we can state that we affirm to tell the truth.

James 5:12 tells us ,"But above all my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or any other oath. But let your ' yes' be ' yes', and your 'no',' no' lest you fall into judgment. "

In Matthew 5:34-36 we are told ," But I say to you, do not swear at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. "

Some examples of possible sayings used by those that swear are, " Upon my life, as I live, by my faith, etc.. " There are many, many more, and it is a sin that occurs so frequently. It has become commonplace, but it is something that God repeatedly tells us not to do. With each curse word, swear word, lie, and or vulgar word, thought or action they are continually bringing reproach upon our merciful God's name. It is sickening to hear those words, but when a Christian becomes involved with improper language, it affects their example. The Bible tells us that if we use such improper language we will not enter into Heaven, but end up in torment.

The mouth is for blessing, not cursing. That's the problem with name-calling. Say something nice or say nothing at all.

Discussion and study questions:
(1) What's wrong with vulgarity?
(2) Is it wrong to call someone a name?
(3) Why does God give lying such severe discernment?
(4) What does the Bible say in regard to swearing?
(5) Is it alright to use improper speech when you are alone?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence