What Does the Bible Say About Cursing?

Cursing is everywhere, and it can be something that brings a lot of questions for your faith. Sometimes, a curse word is something that just slips out – other times, it's a direct insult at someone who we feel has hurt us. What does the Bible say about cursing?

What Does the Bible Say About Cursing

Cursing can distract from our faith and belief in the Lord.

The Bible is filled with references to cursing and its consequences.

A curse word that slips out by accident is something that can happen to anyone, even the most stoic man of God; but to deliberately insult and go out of your way to take the Lord’s name in vain is mentioned more specifically in the Bible as things that go against God’s will.

Colossians, Exodus, Ephesians, James and Matthew all contain references to curses, insults and the effect that our words might have (both on other people and our own faith).

Is Cursing a Sin?

Yes, cursing is considered against God’s plan – especially when it comes from feelings of anger, spite or malice for someone else.

The Bible does not judge us out of context for curse words that might slip out. At the same time, the Bible states that any words or thoughts of wrath, anger, malice or slander should not be part of our vocabulary.

The same verse, in Colossians, also mentions what it calls obscene talk. We all know what this refers to, including dirty jokes and off-color humor. These thoughts can take us further away from God’s plan for us.

Always ask yourself if it’s something you would say in the ear of the Lord.

If it isn’t, then the Bible cautions us to think twice before saying it.

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:8

The Bible also makes further references to taking the Lord’s name in vain. In Exodus, it is said that this is something for which the Lord will not hold us guiltless.

While the occasional accidental curse word can happen to anyone, deliberate insults and taking the Lord’s name in vain is said to be a more seirous offense.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him
guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

Is Cursing Wrong?

It’s certainly not all right!

There are several Bible verses that reference curses, insults, crude jokes and the impact that it might have on people.

Ephesians contains one such verse, where it advises us against filthiness, foolish talk and crude jokes. The same verse calls this behaviour out of place, and says that there should instead be thanksgiving.

Strong emotions lead to strong language: but the truth is that this does not come to glorify the Lord. When we could use our minds, thoughts and voices in honor of the Lord, it becomes clear why cursing (especially cursing someone or something) is not in line with God’s plan for us.

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but
instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4

The same book of the Bible elaborates, in Ephesians 4, when it says that no corrupting talk should come out of our mouths. Even when we are angry at someone or something, the Bible says that there is always a possibility to use our words to build them up (instead of breaking someone down with foul language).

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

It is clear that we can use our words and our thoughts to accomplish two things: faith, or destruction. Isn’t it better to stick to the side of faith?

How Does Cursing Impact Our Faith?

The Bible also says that cursing and foul language can have a negative impact on our faith.

When our words and our minds do not match, we cannot possibly be following God’s plan for our lives. We cannot glorify God or inspire others to come to the Lord when we are in a state of slinging insults. The Bible is very clear that this is not God’s prefered way.

A specific example can be found early in the book of James: it says that those who think themselves religious but ‘does not bridle his tongue’ can consider their religion worthless. This, the passage says, is because it is a way for us to deceive our hearts.

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this
person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26

If we have faith in God, then we have faith that there is good in all people. Cursing serves no purpose, other than to take away from the Lord.

Another clear example can be found in the book of Matthew, chapter 15. The Bible tells us that what comes out of the mouth is what proceeds from the heart. It says clearly that this defiles a person – and in this way, takes them further away from their faith.

We do not live our lives in Christ to defile our hearts or minds. Accidental curses are one thing, but deliberately insulting or speaking false or harsh words against one another is not in line with what the Lord has set out for us.

If you can curse others who should be your fellows,cwhat else do you have the capacity to do?

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person” Matthew 15:18-20
What Does the Bible Say About Cursing

How Should We Respond to Cursing?

The Bible is filled with references for how we should tame our hearts and minds, and live closer to the Lord. But what about when other people direct their anger or curses at us – what does the Bible say about how we should respond to cursing when it comes from someone else?

One of the best references appears in Luke, which says that we should pray for those who abuse us, and bless those who curse us.

“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” Luke 6:28

This can sound surprising, and it cetainly doesn’t sound easy – but when we fight fire with fire, we only set more fires ablaze. If you respond in kindness, what power do others hold over your life, your faith and your mind with their curses or insults?

What Does the Bible Say About Cursing and Emotion?

What Consequences Can Cursing Have?

The Bible is clear about the fact that cursing can have consequences for our lives, and impact the lives of others. We are discouraged from insulting or attacking others; instead, as the book of Luke says, respond with blessing and prayer.

The book of James tells us that a great forest can be set ablaze by a small fire. The ‘small fire’ refers to the tongue, which we can use to glorify God or speak insults against others. Lies, curses and malice spreads as fast as a forest fire, as the Bible is quick to tell us.

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is
set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6

The book of Matthew, in chapter 5, also tells us that we shall be judged for what we speak against our fellow people. Do not insult, when you have the power to speak of good things or of the Lord’s glory instead.

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;
whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:22

Luke echoes this thought, and says that the good person will produce good from their hearts – while the evil person will see an abundance of evil come from their hearts (and their mouths). It is the Bible’s way of telling us to think before we speak.

Is the thing we are about to say against God’s will?

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person
out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

How Should We Respond to Insults or Curses?

The best way to respond to curses is to let them wade off your back like water from a duck.

Insults have no impact if you are strong in your faith – and Luke tells us to respond to curses with blessings and prayer.

Peter also says that we should keep our tongue from evil and our lips from deceit. This is the only way to remain close to the Lord!

“For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” 1 Peter 3:10

What Should We Do About Cursing Ourselves?

Pray, and be the better person by not returning someone’s insult when you see or hear it.

There is one more important reference in the Bible that can help us to keep our hearts, minds and mouths on the right path. Matthew says that on the day of judgment, we will all be asked to account for every careless word we have said.

If you can’t justify what you speak or think together with the Lord’s plan, the Bible tells us that we should shy away from saying it!

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” Matthew 12:36

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