What Does the Bible Say About Cursing?


The concept of cursing has been a prominent aspect in many different types of cultures and can be seen through its influence in media, peers, and individuals in one’s surrounding environment. In recognizing its influence on many people let alone in societies, it can be brought to attention to question whether or not it is sinful for one to curse while carrying out a life of faith as well.

Defining Cursing

In order to understand this, it’s important to first recognize what cursing means. Cursing is uttering offensive words in anger or annoyance, as well as wishing ill will upon someone even if it involves invoking the aid of a deity to do so. Popular phrases in circulation involve phrases such as “Oh my God” or “Jesus” to signify responses towards negative circumstances and this has raised red flags towards those in the practicing religion, although much confusion has been set as to whether or not it is okay due to the changes of the generations and hence thought.

Perceptions on Cursing 

It has been reported that cursing had benefits in allowing one to practice skills of persuasion as well as in conveying one’s emotions in a genuine and honest way. Since physical violence is a means of expression, being able to convey feelings of pain, anger, frustration and the like through verbal means can be preferred in exuding that type of energy instead of something physical.

Other arguments retort that it’s important to understand gravity as well as disrespect is to say those few examples because it uses God’s name in vain or misuses it which in return can be something that leads you towards a path of judgment. Furthermore, it may distort the overall image of God and cause misunderstanding which can be seen in a few examples.

For starters, utilizing phrases such as “Oh my God”, “OMG”, or even “Jesus!” leaves a lot of negative connotation within the phrase. This creates negative associations that can be attached to the very entity of God and Jesus without realizing, and as more people utilize the phrases within their society or culture, it can become a means to develop unintentional ill will towards them as well. Furthermore, it decreases the respect the names ought to have given they are higher entities yet are  treated as mere phrases to respond towards negative circumstances.

Religious terminologies such as God or Jesus may also be misused which can create unintentional confusion and a distorted image of them as well. As seen in John 1:1, God describes himself to be the Word hence conveying that the words contained within scripture are representative of His heart, thoughts, and will. It can be a common occurrence to cherry pick verses and use the name of God to preach a false doctrine to appease desires of greed or misconduct as one example, and this can lead to heavy misunderstandings regarding the character and overall will of God and Jesus. 

The overall concept of not cursing or misusing the name of God can be seen furthermore throughout scripture as well.

Taking a Look at the Bible

Many biblical references have been spoken to address the concept of cursing with implications not to do so and some popular mentions are seen in the following:

Colossians 3:8

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 5:4

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Exodus 20:7

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Leviticus 19:12

Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

James 3:8-10

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

1 Peter 3:10

Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

Matthew 15:10-11

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Why Refrain in Cursing?

Human beings are easily influenced by various mediums which is why cursing has a negative impact. It can be seen through the previous examples that using vulgar and profane language, let alone cursing, are evil and something that can not only hurt others but even defile oneself; contributing only leads to a butterfly effect of just that.

Our bodies have been characterized as temples for God and ones we need to honor (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) so rather than exuding negative statements, it would be best to convey words that can give life as well.

The Bible is used to convey the heart and thoughts of God, and in understanding the reasoning for why it has been emphasized not to curse, the purpose is to help open one’s eyes to understand the fact it can lead to the thoughts and actions of sin. It must be remembered that what is borne from God are the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and goodness. These are attributes that will lead people on a path towards righteousness and hence eternal life which is a hope many individuals share or hold close within their heart. 

Cursing reverts an individual to not going through this path because curses are representative of the actions of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) which include sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. It concludes with the fact individuals who portray words or actions related to this will not be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 

How to Stop Cursing

Given cursing is quite predominant in societies today, it may be difficult to not be exposed to it let alone stopping the habit that has been built in actively cursing as well. It’s not impossible and there are several ways to assist in refraining from carrying out these types of words.

One example can be assigning someone to help you stay accountable in not cursing and actively reminding you not to do as well. Secondly, finding various means to express negative emotions can be expressed through music, exercise, or even taking time out of the day for one to reflect and journal any issues or thoughts one might have which can be a step towards self-control. Lastly, training one’s mind to recognize the positives in given people or circumstances can help train the mind to first reason before reacting as well.

To Conclude

It’s important to understand that cursing can take a name or word and devalue it hence causing disrespect which can be seen in two contexts when taking into account a religious perspective. Using God’s name in vain as an example, misuses the name and overall respect in the relationship that God is supposed to be higher; cursing makes it seem as though the term “God” can just be thrown around like any other common noun. 

Furthermore, cursing is an outlet for negativity and evil words to be spread which is harmful for one’s body and soul that can impede one from entering into the hope of Heaven and eternal life too. 

That is why in the end, although it may be difficult, it would be best to invest one’s energy in fostering life giving words and positivity in one’s life rather than investing in negativity which can lead to pain as seen in the Bible.

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