Cursing isn’t just about bad language. When you tell someone to “go to hell,” you’re pronouncing a curse on them with your language. A curse in the Bible is a pronouncement of evil, judgment, or ruin on a person.
We have to understand that when we use our words in a derogatory manner toward someone else or toward God, we are pronouncing a curse. We are speaking death into their lives.
Never take the power of your speech lightly—even when it’s taken lightly in our culture. Turn on practically any afternoon talk show on television, and you will hear people cursing each other up one side and down the other. They may or may not be swearing, but they are speaking words of destruction, accusation, judgment, and death. That is profanity, and it should not come from the mouth of a child of the holy and righteous King.
We read in the book of Psalms what can happen to the one who speaks death to another.
He loved cursing—let it fall on him;
he took no delight in blessing—let it be far from him.
He wore cursing like his coat—
let it enter his body like water
and go into his bones like oil.
Let it be like a robe he wraps around himself,
like a belt he always wears.
Let this be the Lord‘s payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil against me (Psalm 109:17-20).
Speaking badly about others often brings ruin to yourself. When you curse others, you invite a curse on yourself.
Do you really want to invite ruin on your own life? Are those words you’re about to say worth it? This is why the apostle Peter exhorts us to pay back evil with a blessing. Peter says when you do that, the blessing you give will boomerang back to you (1 Peter 3:9).
The body of Christ is experiencing a demonic infiltration into our speech through the corruption of our mouths. Satan doesn’t care that you clock in at church on Sunday as long as he’s got access to your mouth by lunchtime. When Satan can influence you to use your mouth against others, he’s got you right where he wants you because he knows your destructive words will come back on you.
Speaking in an unwholesome manner produces another damaging result: It damages your fellowship with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul reveals the impact that unwholesome speech has on our relationship with God: “Don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.”
The Holy Spirit is often compared to a dove in Scripture. A dove is a very sensitive bird. It will fly off quickly when you get too close because it is so sensitive. Similarly, when we grieve the Holy Spirit, we create relational distance. We limit our experience of intimacy with Him, and we limit our access to His power in our lives.
The Holy Spirit will not hang around foul language. If you want a greater experience of His influence in your life, keep Him close. One way you keep Him close is by watching your mouth. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with your salvation. But it has everything to do with your relational intimacy with God.
Speech is a powerful force. Dirt in your discourse affects not only those who are listening to you but also yourself. Make it your intention to use your mouth wisely and watch God move in your life in ways you never could have dreamed.
Excerpted from: Watch Your Mouth (Copyright © 2016 Tony Evans). Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Download a free sample chapter at http://go.harvesthousepublishers.com/watchyourmouth.
Dr. Tony Evans is founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of The Power of God’s Names and Victory in Spiritual Warfare. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1000 US outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Visit Tony’s website at www.TonyEvans.org.