Listen, guys, I get it. I get it because it has been my problem. You want to be liked, you want to have a good time, you want to fit in. You don’t engage in some of the “bigger sins” that your coworkers do and who’s to say dirty jokes are actually sinful, right? Same with swearing (I know a lot of Christians struggle with this one). At least you aren’t doing the other stuff, am I right?
These are the thoughts I am sure all of us have had in trying to justify a pet sin. The truth is, though, we have a conscience that will convict us when we sin, if we don’t silence it. I became convicted about dirty jokes so I decided I needed to change. In order to help with this change I figured I would need some Bible! So, I jumped in and started studying! What I found really opened my eyes and made me realize how important this change was! Since this Bible study was so helpful to me I thought I would share some of my findings with you!
Looking further brings us to 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise your youth, but be an example of the believers in word….” When Paul was instructing Timothy the first thing he told him to be careful of was what he said. He wanted him to guard his tongue, and no wonder. James 3:2-8 is all about how powerful and dangerous the tongue is. It is said to be “set on fire by Hell” and unable to be tamed by any man. It is said to be as powerful as a rudder on a large boat or the reins in a horse’s mouth. A tiny part of a whole that can control the body in its entirety.
Consider the following verses about what we should not do with our tongues: Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Ephesians 5:4, “and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” 2 Timothy 2:16, “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
From reading the above verses I think it is abundantly clear that both swearing and dirty joking are off limits for Christians! We are to avoid “filthy communication”, “coarse jesting”, and “profane and vain babblings”! Furthermore, Titus 2:7-8 says, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
The passage from Titus tells us, not only are we to avoid swearing and inappropriate jokes, but we are to make sure our words “cannot be condemned”. Swearing can easily be condemned and dirty jokes may actually be even easier to condemn. We know that these things aren’t right. Even the unsaved, most times, will be careful who they swear of tell dirty jokes around.
As Christians, the words we speak are judged by the unsaved. I have seen first-hand what difference it makes when a professed Christian does or doesn’t swear. People see you different and that is a good thing! I have heard some argue that swearing makes them more accessible to the unsaved. It makes them more relatable.
In a way, those people are saying the ends justifies the means. This is untrue, however, as Paul writes in Romans 3:7-8, “But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), ‘Let us do evil that good may come’? Their condemnation is just.” Paul says here that doing something bad to get a good result is worthy of condemnation. We are told the opposite of “the ends justifies the means”!
To finish this article off I just want to clarify that I am not looking down on anyone or anything. I struggle just as much as anyone else. I studied this because I wanted to be better. I am sharing it because maybe someone else can learn from what I found. Part of my vision is to see Christians live all out for God! It isn’t easy, and sometimes it seems less fun, but it is worth it. We were told we wouldn’t fit in on Earth (John 15:19) but the end game is so much bigger than us. The end game is eternal.