Question:Is it really a sin to cuss? I know saying the Lord's name in vain is wrong, but what's the big deal with four-letter words? As far as I know, the Bible doesn't say anything about them. They're just words, so why is it wrong to say them?
Your letter reminded me of something that happened to me a few weeks ago.
I took two of my young children to a movie. As we were waiting for the show to start, we couldn't help but overhear some high school students sitting near us. Their conversation was filled with vile cuss words. I'll admit my first emotion was anger--not because I'd never heard those words, but because I felt their language was totally inappropriate in the presence of children. In my opinion, it cheapened the integrity of those teenagers, making them look rude and disrespectful.
You asked if cussing is a sin. The Bible actually does say something about the words we use:
-"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths" (Ephesians 4:29).
-"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless" (James 1:26).
I won't tell you that a four-letter word has never come from my own lips. I'm not going to tell you that as a junior-high student I didn't have a vocabulary that makes me shudder now. But I believe the use of four-letter words does nothing, and I mean nothing, to help my relationship with God. And using cuss words certainly doesn't reflect God to other people. So my goal is to try my best to keep those words from my lips and substitute them with a better choice of vocabulary. There are so many words we can use to express ourselves, to communicate with other people. Why cuss when it only cheapens the meaning of what you really want to say?