Summary: In this lesson, we learn about different kinds of expletives that should not be on our lips.


A. One day an elderly preacher told his congregation that he was feeling a bit lonely and depressed.

1. So one of the church members suggested to the preacher that he should buy a pet.

2. Thinking this was a great idea, he hurried to town and after much deliberation, bought a parrot.

3. Unfortunately not five minutes after arriving home, the parrot started hurling a string of expletives at the minister.

4. After about an hour of it, the minister slapped the parrot on the beak, and said, “QUIT IT!”

5. But this just made the parrot madder and he began swearing at the minister in even more colorful language, so the minister covered the cage with a blanket, but didn’t stop the parrot.

6. Finally, the minister had had enough, and he grabbed the parrot and threw him into the freezer.

7. After a few minutes the parrot quieted down, and the minister became concerned for the well-being of the parrot.

8. The minister opened the freezer door and the parrot climbed out of the freezer, flapping the ice off his wings, and began apologizing to the old minister, “I am awfully sorry about the trouble I’ve caused you. In the future, I'll do my best to improve my vocabulary.”

9. The old minister was astounded by the sudden transformation that had come over the parrot.

10. Then the parrot said, “May I ask you a question?” “Sure,” replied the minister. “What in the world did the frozen chicken in the freezer do to you?”

11. Have you ever wished you could deal with someone’s foul mouth the way that minster dealt with the parrot?

B. Today, we are returning to our series called: “Speak Life – Speaking Words that Heal, not Hurt.”

1. The Bible tells us that words have the power of life and death.

2. God’s desire is for all of us to learn how to control our tongues so that our words bring life.

3. So far in our series, we have explored: The truth about lying, the malignant talk of gossip and slander, the ego talk of boasting, flattery and exaggeration, and corrosive talk, which has to do with speaking words of complaining and criticizing.

4. Today, we want to explore the topic of Expletives Deleted – lifting our speech out of the gutter.

C. The official transcript of the Watergate tapes of the Nixon era were frequently interrupted by the phrase, “Expletives deleted,” and “expletives deleted” became a common term for foul language.

1. Like many standards of society, the decency of a matter is not absolute, but is relative.

2. It’s interesting that expletives, though at one time were considered “unpresidential,” have now become so acceptable in our society.

3. Some people have long used profanity and obscenity privately when they’re angry or disgusted.

a. Some have used it for emphasis and for others it is just a habit.

b. Sadly, this is even true of some professing Christians.

4. One of the sides of the family that I grew up in was a drinking and cussing clan.

a. They saw no discrepancy between inebriation, foul language, and church going.

b. They would have a drunken, volatile card game with expletives flying across the table at Gram’s on Saturday night, and then be in the Methodist church on Sunday morning.

c. That kind of behavior never set very well with me, but I gave the cussing a try in my late elementary school years.

d. My best friend and I decided to do a lot of swearing when we were together, but I remember that after a short time, we made a pack to stop that kind of language, and we did.

5. As you know, more recently, foul language has become commonplace, not just in private, but also in public and in the mass media.

a. Finding a TV show, movie, music or novel that does not use profanity and obscenity is nearly impossible, even in so-called “family entertainment.”

6. Social media has gone so far as to give such expressions code abbreviations, so people can use profanity without having to type it out.

7. Shockingly, many school teachers and textbooks use such language, and reading assignments may be filled with it.

8. Some defend such language on the grounds of “freedom of speech” and “academic freedom,” but even it all this is legal, that doesn’t make it moral or acceptable to God.

D. In the end, it is not our job to control what people out there allow to come out of their mouths, but it is each of our jobs as Christ-followers to honor God with our speech.

1. God’s Word establishes absolute parameters for our speech.

2. There are four kinds of speech that we should be serious about deleting from our language: cursing, profanity, obscenity, and euphemisms.

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