We live in a time where there seems to be a blur between the children of God and the world. Many Christians are participating in habits that you would only expect from those that are not saved – one of them being profanity. We’ve all heard or seen the phrase “I'm saved but I cuss a little,” and most of us probably know some people who profess to be believers of Jesus but still use profanity with no limitation or intention of stopping. There’s also the “I’m saved but I drink/club/smoke/sex/twerk…a little” phrases. They all simply justify being saved yet indulging in and holding onto sinful behaviors and habits. For this particular post, we will only address the “I’m saved but I cuss a little” trend, aka willful, habitual profanity.
Why You Can’t Be SAVED and Still “Cuss a Little”
Usually when people make the statement “I’m saved but I cuss a little,” what they are really saying is: I’m saved, I still cuss, and I have no intention of stopping or allowing God to deal with my foul mouth. This is completely different from someone who just got saved and is still struggling with cursing and other ungodly habits or someone who is saved and honestly still struggles with cursing but is daily giving that area over to the Lord for deliverance and change.
So why can’t you be saved and still “cuss a little?” First, let’s consider what it means to be saved and the definition of salvation. It’s important to define the real meaning of salvation because nowadays everyone has their own meaning of salvation and that’s why we have so many people who call themselves “saved” but don’t reflect Christ.
Salvation is defined as “the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction; deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.” To be delivered from the power of sin means to be delivered from sin into righteousness. It means sin no longer rules in you but instead righteousness rules in you. If you’re not being delivered into righteousness (being made righteous on a continual basis), then you might want to consider if you really accepted Christ. A continued and habitual lack of self-control in speech is bondage to the power of sin. Someone who practices the use of profanity and claims to be saved is not free from the power of sin; they have no self-control over their tongue or emotions. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. If you habitually spew out foul and abusive language with no intention of allowing God to deliver you, it reveals a lack of self-control and a heart issue because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34; Luke 6:45). It reveals anger in the heart and a carelessness for how you display Christ to others or how you make others feel.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” No one can justify profanity by claiming it is not foul or abusive language. If even the world calls it foul and abusive language and God’s word tells us not to use it as children of God, how can we then call ourselves saved and still “cuss a little?” That statement is an oxymoron and is a disgrace to the God we say we serve and whom we say has all power. If God is all powerful then He CAN deliver you from a foul mouth; the question is, do you really want to be delivered?
Furthermore, if we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, how can we go on habitually living unholy and think it does not grieve Him? Either you don’t have the Holy Spirit, or you are misinformed and think He is cool with sin living in the temple that He is supposed to possess. If you really had His Holy Spirit, your spirit would be vexed and grieved whenever you heard profanity used. You would not be comfortable with it and if you slipped up and said it you would have a repentant heart to want to change and be delivered.
Curse Words Are Just Words
Many people justify the use of profanity with the argument that cuss words are just words. If cuss words are just words then go to your parents, cuss them out, and see if they are not upset and offended. If cuss words are just words then go to your professor or boss, cuss them out and see if you’re not reprimanded or fired. If cuss words are just words then go inside of a church, stand up, spew out profanity and see if you don’t get a negative reaction. Obviously, cuss words are more than just words. All words have meaning and everything we say out of our mouth holds weight. Even the world was created by mere words. The definition of cussword is: “a term of abuse, a derogatory term.” The world defines curse words as derogatory terms. How then can we as believers, justify the use of them when we are instructed to let no unwholesome word come out of out of our mouth (Eph. 4:29)?
Justifying a behavior does not change the consequences of that behavior. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37). We will be judged by our actions and our words. We will give account for every word that comes out of our mouth. We can claim that they are just words to us, but when God judges what we have said, He will hold it up to the standard of His word, not our standard or opinion.
The things that come out of our mouth defines who we are and what we stand for. What sets us apart as believers is our behavior. If we claim to be believers but we allow that leaven of profanity into our lives, it taints our entire witness for Christ. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9). People won’t take you seriously as a believer if you’re constantly spewing out vulgar language. And allowing profanity to have a comfortable seat in your heart will only make room for other sinful habits – don’t give sin a foothold.
It’s Time For Growth
If we’re really striving to live for God and to be used by Him, then we are being transformed daily and we can’t stay the same. The evidence that Christ dwells in us is old things dying off and new things (the nature and ways of God) being produced and growing in us. At some point, God is going to begin to deal with and start cutting off that bad fruit of profanity. To say, “I’m saved but I still curse,” is evidence of not wanting to have that fruit cut off. But salvation requires total submission and surrender to the Vinedresser. It’s time to surrender that area to God and no longer make excuses for it.
We can’t curse man with the same mouth that we use to bless God, fresh water and salt water cannot come out of the same fountain (James 3:10). Either we’re going to use our mouth to honor God or we’re going to use it to satisfy ourselves. But the word commands us: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:12-13). So, let us present ourselves as instruments of righteousness to God so that we can stand apart from the world and be a representation of Him before a dying world.
“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18 AMP