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Profanity and crude language are becoming more common on prime-time television programs. Many writers and producers seem to be intent on pushing the limits of how much immoral and offensive speech the public will allow.

Profane and vulgar language is noise pollution of the worst kind. It dishonors God and degrades men and women. Conversation punctuated by cursing, swear words, and crude and dirty expressions obscures the beauty of noble ideas. Words that condemn others can inflame anger and destroy relationships. They can inflict lasting hurt to sensitive souls who are battered by verbal abuse.

Ungodly language creates an immoral and unspiritual atmosphere, which is hostile to clean thinking and living. Its deafening sound can all but drown out the voice of God's Spirit. That's why the Word of God spells out in clear terms the kind of language that must not come from the lips of followers of Jesus, as well as the kind that should characterize our speech.

Centuries ago the psalmist offered a prayer that we would be wise to echo: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3). That prayer is needed today more than ever (Dennis J. De Haan).

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