What The Bible Says About Cursing Might Surprise You

What the Bible says about cursing may or may not surprise you based upon your knowledge of the Bible and who God is.

The Bible teaches in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that cursing is prohibited, but there are no direct passages that explicitly state anything like, ‘do not cuss.’ Instead, the Bible as a whole, through various passages, teaches that the use of words is meant to build, encourage, and strengthen others. Through understanding the Bible more, the Christian is better equipped to use the words God desires.

Are Curse Words In The Bible?

There are no curse words in the Bible in the way that most people think of curse words. Foul language is not found in any part of the Bible, nor would it be by the design and intent of God. Curse words are designed to inflict insult or injury or add emphasis in a foul way. God’s Word was never created to bring pain, but healing. It also states clearly the intent without needing to add emphasis in a foul way.

It’s through the nature and understanding of who God is through His Word that we discover the truth about what the Bible says about cursing. Cursing is not good, and using curse words in any way is not the God created us to be. The Bible does have curses, which came as a result of the fall in the beginning.

How Did Curse Words Start?

Curse words came into existence after the fall of the human race in the garden of Eden.

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:17-19

In verse 17 we see the first curse of the entire world coming into existence. This wasn’t a curse word, but it dis highlight the fact that the human race was forever changed with sin entering the world.

It was a result of the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the garden (eating the forbidden fruit) that brought on this curse. Now, as part of the fallen nature of humanity, curse words were ushered in.

The use of foul language that harms or degrades wouldn’t have been possible before the fall.

This was a devastating moment for humanity, but hope was not lost. Even in this pain, God shows us, readers, that He had a plan.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3:15

The passage above is lifted from the Bible verses about God’s judgment on the serpent (the devil) for his role in the Garden. Prophecy is interlaced with the text, showing us God’s desire to save, even in the beginning. “He shall bruise your head” is the prophecy of Jesus Christ.

This passage shows us God’s control and desire to save, giving Christians more reason to be trusting God with everything.

His compassion, love, and forgiveness never tire, even when we are at our worst.

Will God Forgive Me For Cursing?

God will forgive you for cursing. This is true for cursing at God or cursing at other people. We have to remember a few different things when it comes to forgiveness from God. When we think about what the Bible says about cursing, we must also consider what the Bible says about forgiveness.

The first thing I want to draw your attention to is what the Bible says about our current state as sinners before we accept Christ through salvation.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

When we were still stuck in our sin, unable to do any good thing, Christ died for us.

God in the flesh, Emmanuel, died on a cross for us.

Secondly, the Scripture tells us that if we confess, He will forgive us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Third, and this is also important, the Bible tells us we must forgive in order to be forgiven. This doesn’t mean we have to have a relationship with said person that hurt us, it doesn’t excuse the behavior either, what it does mean is releasing that individual from the sin and not holding it over them.

 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Mark 11:25

As you can see, the Bible is clear on forgiveness. The only true sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of unbelief, which if you’re worried about, you’re not doing it. If you’d like to read more about this topic of the unpardonable sin, GotQuestions.org has a great article here about it.

Does The Bible Say Not To Cuss?

Even though what the Bible says about cursing is absent, it is clear on the topic of how we are to communicate with others. This gives us ample evidence on how Christians should be speaking to others. Ephesians 4:29 for instance tells us to not let any corrupt word come out of our mouth.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

This can seem like a daunting task even for the most devoted Christian followers, but it is possible when we are living by faith and trusting God through every circumstance (read more about living by faith in the article about how to focus on God more).

Further down in chapter four of Ephesians, the Scripture discusses more directly what kind of heart and language we are to rid ourselves of as Christians.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 

Ephesians 4:31

This type of action is not possible in our own strength. It relies not on our strength, but the strength that comes from God. If you haven’t already given your life to Christ, I suggest doing so today in order to obtain salvation.

Now that we’ve covered what the Bible says about cursing, I want to shift into some mindset changes to aid you in the battle of cursing.

What The Bible Says About Cursing - Two Women Talking

What Does The Bible Say About The Words That Come Out Of Your Mouth?

We must be careful with the words we choose if we want to win the battle of cursing in our lives. The fact our lives can change in an instance by a single sentence we speak, either in a good way or in a bad (Proverbs 15:4), should motivate us to action.

The foundation of everything must start with a relationship with God. It must start with a daily commitment to prayer and Bible reading. These are things every Christian should do daily.

Let’s map our mindset with Scripture when it comes to our speech. This will enable you to have God’s desires in mind when speaking.

1. We Give & Take Life With Our Words

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

The above Proverb teaches us that life and death are in the words we choose to speak. When we possess the wisdom to know this power of words, we will learn to love words that bring life. Therefore we will be blessed by eating the fruit of effective and wise communications with others.

2. We Turn Away Wrath By Gentle Words

A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1

When people come at us in anger (wrath), the natural response is to become angry back at the person. If we are wise, through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and instead return a soft answer in this moment of wrath, we will turn the person’s wrath away from ourselves. Imagine the last argument or painful conversation of wrath… now imagine if you were responding with a soft answer. Take this conviction in your heart as a reason to change, not feel shame and condemnation.

3. We Praise & Glorify God With Words

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

James 3:8-12

This passage at first glance can seem hopeless with the words in verse 8, ‘no man can tame the tongue.’ But I want to remind you that it’s not us alone on this journey. It’s true that this is impossible with man, but it’s not impossible with God. Remember, He is our strength!

Verse ten says, ‘it out not be so’. Through the transformation of the Holy Spirit of God in us when we’re saved, we experience a changed nature. Our tongues are not to be doubled as Christians any longer. God desires us to have clean and uplifting words. Verse 12 tells us that ‘no spring yields both saltwater and fresh.’ If you haven’t experienced this kind of change, go to God and ask for help. He will help you because He desires us to have good and uplifting words.

4. We Build People Up With Our Words

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:31

Yes, this is the same verse used earlier in the article, but instead of focusing on what we aren’t supposed to do, I want to draw your attention to what we are to do.

We are called as Christians to let no corrupt word come from our mouth, but instead, only what is good. This goes back to the saying my grandmother always told me, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it!’

This is so true! We need to impart grace to the people we speak to. Oftentimes we’re quick to judge and condemn, but slow to praise, uplift, and encourage. We have to change that if we desire to please God with our words.

Conclusion

What the Bible says about cursing may not be cut and dry as ‘don’t cuss’, but as you can see, it clearly tells us not to use curse words.

The Words we use should be edifying and for building others up ( Ephesians 4:29).

When we fall short, we can take comfort knowing that God will forgive us when we come to Him (1 John 1:9).

My prayer today, and I hope it is for you as well, is that we go to God and ask Him for wisdom and help in all areas in our life where we struggle (James 1:5). The beauty in going to God is the fact that He desires us to do so. He also tells us the type of God He is. I love how Jesus tells us about His inner man. He says He is gentle and lowly in heart, willing to teach us all things (Matthew 11:29).

Run to Jesus, friend, and experience what it means to be set free from cursing.

4 thoughts on “What The Bible Says About Cursing Might Surprise You”

  1. I love it! This is why I love your books. They always teach more about God! The commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” I have come to understand that taking His name—whether using a word inappropriately or calling ourselves Christians—means more than just the words that come out of our mouths. It also means not ACTING like the Christian we claim to be! Perhaps that is even more important than the wrong word that escapes us when we hit our thumb with a hammer!

    • Thanks for the comment, Jean! I agree that we must act like Christians.

      My wife loves using the cup analogy and I think it fits well with the topic of cursing. When your cup gets tipped, what comes out? Depending on what’s in your cup, it’ll dictate what comes out!

  2. I think that this will be a daily read. All of the articles were written by someone who has studied the Bible and has an intimate relationship with the Lord and knows what God wants him to say and talk about. I will look forward to reading this! Thanks for giving us something good and spiritual to read!
    Lord bless you abundantly!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Joann! I pray that the articles help people deal with daily life and answer the questions the way God wants them answered.

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