|Job 34:3-4 (KJV)
3. For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
4. Let us choose to us judgment; let us know among ourselves what is good.
Luke 6:45 (NRSV)
The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of the evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
Proverbs 10:11 (NRSV)
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
These three scripture passages speak a message by themselves. In my personal life, I have been working to stop cussing and taking God's name in vain. For the first couple weeks of this endeavor, I tried to remember the reason or moment I first began cussing. I don't remember when I started taking the Lord's name in vain.
I was 13 years old when I started cussing. I was brought up in a Southern Baptist home so cussing was not allowed in the household. I was spending the week with some other relatives and had watched a movie. The movie had some language in it. I had thought to myself, "I wonder what it feels like to cuss and why people do it." So as I was getting ready to go to bed that night, I said what holds the water back 3 times in a row quietly out loud to myself. From that moment on, I was hooked on cussing. I felt an emotional release with it and it felt good to me at the time.
Over the last 5 years, I have tried more than once to stop cussing. However, I would get frustrated and quit trying after awhile. I didn't stay consistent with it. Also over the last few years, I have worked to build a closer relationship to God. In order to get closer to God, I have began having a daily personal Bible reading and prayer time to spend time with God. I have also started using a prayer journal.
During the first couple weeks of this attempt to alter my language habit, I started looking up scripture to pray over my situation. I have posted a couple of prayers on Facebook so I could have others praying with me about it too. I have determined in my heart this time to continue the process no matter how frustrated I get or how long it takes. After I had posted the second prayer on Facebook, a friend of mine mentioned how the Bible talks about "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." They said that they were praying for whatever was in my heart causing me to cuss. This got me thinking.
Over the next few days the principal of what is in the heart comes out the mouth kept showing up. I saw it on Facebook posts, read it in scriptures, saw it on Youtube, it was in books that I read from and it kept popping up in conversations. In my personal prayer time, I mentioned this to God also, and I asked him to show me what was in my heart and to heal it.
I decided to do some Google research about it. My goodness, I found a lot more scriptures about it then I originally thought existed. Of course the most common scriptures you normally hear on this subject are mentioned in the New Testament. Wow! I was surprised by all the information I found.
In the book of James, chapter 1, verse 26 (ESV), it says, "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless." Ouch! I guess we had really better examine our hearts so we can be in control of what we say.
There are some Bible translations that use the phrase "Out of the overflow of the heart". There are others that say, "From the abundance of the mind or thoughts." I like the way Matthew 15:17-20 (KJV) explains it. v17. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast into the draught? v18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile a man. v19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, theft, false witness, blasphemies: v20. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
I thought to myself, "Then what is the heart according to the Bible?" Is it our thoughts, our feelings, or our intentions? I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon me that it is all of those things.
Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” When God judges our actions, he also examines the condition of the heart and what our intentions are. He doesn't just take it all at face value. He looks at the bigger picture. We should do the same.
These past few days, when I have a word slip that I am trying to stop saying, I consider the thought, emotion, and the meaning attached to it. This is helping me to see the root cause of the word. I also try to catch it at the thought level before it slips from my lips.
It is my hope that by making my own experience with this public it will help others to be inspired to stop sinful behavior they have been feeling powerless over. I also want to encourage everyone I can to pursue a personal relationship with God the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ, his son, by the enabling of the Holy Spirit.