Is cursing a sin? What a great question. Simply put: Yes.
“Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth (Ephesians 4:29).”
Be a Blessing
It’s not just cursing, but anything we say (or do) that’s not a blessing. Yes, that’s a high standard. But this is God’s standard for His children:
“Walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth) (Ephesians 5:8-9).”
Kingdom Conditions Now
In God’s future Kingdom, we will do things “on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).” Since believers are in God’s Kingdom, we bring Kingdom behavior now.
A Fragrant Aroma
Paul tells us to be imitators of God and Christ. When our behavior and speech are pure, we are a fragrant aroma to God.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma (Ephesians 5:1-2).”
In the Old Testament, proper sacrifices brought a soothing aroma to the Lord. When Noah offered a sacrifice after getting off the ark, it pleased the LORD:
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar…. The LORD smelled the soothing aroma (Genesis 8:20-21).
We can bring that soothing aroma to God by walking in love, and proper speech is a fruit of love.
Warning Against Filthy Talk
God also forbids filthy talk, dirty jokes, and sexual innuendos to children of God.
“But…as is proper among saints…there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this, you know with certainty that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:4-5).
Warning Against Oaths
But what about Peter? you may ask. The Bible says that when he denied Jesus, he began to curse and swear.
“A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man (Jesus)!” And immediately a rooster crowed (Matthew 26:73-74).”
Bible scholars think Matthew didn’t mean that Peter used profanity but that He made an oath to God, or something representing God, like the temple, to witness his truthfulness. I’m not sure if that’s any better than what we call cursing because he lied under oath. Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, discouraged us from taking any unnecessary oaths:
“But I say to you, take no oath at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet.…But make sure your statement is, Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin (Matthew 5:34-36).”
Yes, Cursing is Sin
And with filthy talk all around us, all are guilty of thoughts and words. But God, through Jesus, forgives us, His children, when we confess (1 John 1:8-9).
Find this forgiveness that God offers freely. Please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page.