Minced Oaths – A Form of Cursing

There is a pink, moist, furrowed, flat piece of muscle, attached to the floor of ones mouth, fervently anticipating the opportunity to unveil its ability to dispense a myriad of unsuspecting antics.  The tongue was created by God to offer prayers and praises to the Saviour; to witness to the unsaved; to enjoy fellowship with other Believers; and to express words of love and encouragement to those whom we adore.  Unfortunately, mankind has taken this Divinely created instrument of good and turned it into a sneaky subtle tool for promoting evil and corrupt communication.

In considering the negative usage of the tongue we can easily create a listing of common sinful practices employed by unregenerate mankind, among them being rudeness, cursing, complaining, berating, screaming, arguing, bragging and profanity.  Whew, what a list!.   However there is another not so noted area in which even God’s people are sometimes guilty of succumbing.  This is the area of minced oaths, a subtly corrupted form of swear words or euphemisms.

Matthew 12: 35-37, reveals that “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy works thou shalt be condemned”.

The third commandment states that we are not to take the name of the Lord in vain.  There are several words used as substitutes for the Name of God, among these being GOSH and  GOLLY.   EGAD is an euphemistic for of the oath ‘by God’.  Goodness is another word that is used instead of God.    Phrases like “for goodness sake” and “for Petes’ sake; for the love of Mike and “for crying out loud” are more ‘cultured’ substitutes for the irreverent use of  “for Christ’s sake.  ” In a similar way the Name of Christ is abused by the words, Bee, Jiminy Crickets, Jeepers Creepers , cheese and rice, and Gee Willikers.

It is by God’s grace that he worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  There is a tendency to replace “by God” with by Gum; by Jove; by George, and as well as by Golly and by Gosh.  References to the ‘goodness of God’ often is defamed by the expressions good grief and goodness gracious.  Comments such as Gosh darn; dad gum; darn; doggone; dang and tarnation  should not need interpreting.

As Christians we are admonished not to let  corrupt communication come out of our mouth. Ephesians 4:29  The bathroom words of the world should not become an acceptable part of our vocabulary.   Words referring to barnyard dung like shinola, shoot, shucks and sow patties are not pleasing to the Lord.  Trying to make vulgar words socially acceptable by using such terms as freaking, and fricken are highly obscene.  We have a new nature that desires to speak sound and wholesome words, comforting words.  Any type of cussing, swearing, profanity or off color speech brings harm to the cause of Christ.

Our society today is so jaded and perverse that swearing is looked upon as acceptable.  May times in my Christian walk I have had to tactfully asked folk not to use a certain word in my presence, some of which were professing Christians.  In view of the fact that more and more unacceptable words and phrases are being created by the world.  we need to be ever mindful of their origin and or substitutionary use.

May God prove our hearts as we purpose that our mouth will not transgress by using profane speech.   Instead  may our mouths be filled with praise  and honor to the Lord all throughout our days that we may stand before him as in Revelation 14:5……and in their mouth was no guile.”


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