In order to answer this question, let's ask another:
"What is swearing?"
WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY helps answer that
question by giving us information on
SWEAR - to invoke
the name of a sacred being in an oath; to use profane
INVOKE - to call upon.
SACRED - holy; entitled to reverence (honor and respect)
OATH - an irreverent or careless use of a sacred name.
PROFANE - to debase or defile what is holy; to treat unworthily.
then, would be to use the name of God (who deserves honor and
respect) carelessly and unworthily.
Exodus 20:7 says, "You shall not take the name
of the Lord, your God, in vain.
For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain."
the name of the Lord "in vain" means using it lightly or thoughtlessly.....
as Webster says, giving it "no real value."
Christians do not carelessly use the term "God," or on any occasion
combine it with such words as "damn". They know that this is taking God's name "in
vain." Doing so is a...sin. BUT... many Christians who do not WANT to "swear"
or take God's name in vain, are doing just that when they use such words as "Gosh,"
"Golly," "Gee," and other similar expressions.
again, the dictionary helps us understand what these words mean.
It gives us these definitions:
- a form of Jesus.
GOLLY - a euphemism for God. (Euphemism - the substitution of one word for
GOSH - a substitute for God.
word that some Christians seem to use easily is "darn" (or "darned").
Webster's definition for these words is simply "damn" or "damned." To say, "Gol-darn
it" is the same as combining the two words, "God and damn" and adding "it." Also, "I'll
be darned" is saying "I'll be damned." No one really wants to be damned! How about
the word "heck." The dictionary says that it is another word for "hell."
use of these kinds of words is very contrary to what the Bible says about
speech. For example, our Lord Jesus said, "But I say to you, do not swear at all...
but let your `Yes' mean `Yes', and your `No' mean `No.' Anything more is from
the evil one." (Mt 5:34 & 37)
we could write down every word we say in a day, and then read what we have
said: we'd find that we use many "idle words" - words just to fill up a sentence, to fill a
vacancy when we don't know what else to say. In Matthew 12:36 and 37, the Lord
Jesus gave this important warning:
tell you on the day of judgement people will render an account for every
careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your
words you will be condemned."
I know that most Christians who use such words do not MEAN to be
swearing. But if we try to excuse ourselves by saying that these words slip out by
accident, we need to listen to what God says in the book of James:
anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but
deceives his heart, his religion is vain." (James 1:26)
tongue... is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the
Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who are made in the
likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need
not to be so, my brothers." (James 3:8-10)
let's be careful of what we say! Let's "clean up" our language! Remember,
we are accountable to God for our words. Perhaps the best verse of Scripture to help
us with this is:
"Let the words of my mouth
and the thought of my heart
find favor before you, O Lord,
my rock and my redeemer."
this verse.... and make it your daily prayer.
[Article taken from Life Enterprises