Summary: The dangers of cursing in our every day lives.
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
Why do people curse? Is it instinct, an automatic response to something gone wrong. Is it carelessness of the tongue? A demonstration of one’s inability to form meaningful sentences concerning their woes and disappointments? In some cases it is more than simply a slip of the tongue and we as Christians need to watch what we say.
The Bible warns us of those who curse as can be demonstrated in Psalms. Psalms 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. Psalms 12:3-4 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? Psalms 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
But Psalms also tells of what character a person is according to his speech.
Psalms 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
You should (Psalm 35:13) and (Psalm 35:28) because it is right to give glory and thanks to God for not simply for all that he has given us but for His very nature. Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
But even our words are weapons for good or for evil. When we curse, gossip, or insult someone without justification we are like the people (Psalm 64:3). In the Biblical days the tongue was an important thing. In today’s world people don’t seem to be all that interested in what other people have to say. Psalm 109:2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
Many of the prayers in Psalms are about oppression by evil men and one of many oppressions put on the Jewish people was vile speech. In the book of Tobit, a man by the name of Tobit goes forth and buries the dead as Jewish tradition instructs him to under pain of persecution. When he is persecuted by the pagan king for his noble actions and criticized by his fellow country men he asks the Lord for death, because he cannot stand the criticism he is receiving from the others.
Tobit 3:2 "Righteous art thou, O Lord; all thy deeds and all they ways are mercy and truth, and thou dost render true and righteous judgment for ever.
3: Remember me and look favorably upon me; do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offences and those which my fathers committed before thee.
4: For they disobeyed thy commandments, and thou gavest us over to plunder, captivity, and death; thou madest us a byword of reproach in all the nations among which we have been dispersed.
5: And now thy many judgments are true in exacting penalty from me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we did not keep thy commandments. For we did not walk in truth before thee.
6: And now deal with me according to thy pleasure; command my spirit to be taken up, that I may depart and become dust. For it is better for me to die than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and great is the sorrow within me. Command that I now be released from my distress to go to the eternal abode; do not turn thy face away from me."
And in Proverbs we have another verse demonstrating the importance of what we say. Proverbs 10:31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
For indeed God makes his judgments not only on our actions but our words. Isaiah 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
Many hellish images give us an idea concerning the torments of hell including the idea of severe thirst, the burning of the tongue, so much so that the rich man’s first demand is to have some relief on his tongue. Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.