The Outlet of the Heart

Ollie Duffield, Jr.
Joliet, Ill.

Many Christians do not realize the seriousness of their speech. This seriousness is vividly portrayed by the Lord in Matthew 12: 34-37, "Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Nothing can be more serious than that which will result either in salvation or condemnation, and the Lord teaches that this is the case as concerns our speech. The seriousness of our speech is further seen in that what we say portrays what is within. "But the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart; and they defile the man." (Matt, 15:18) and "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matt. 2:34). Because of the seriousness of human weakness in control of his speech James warned, "Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment. For in many things we all stumble. If any stumbleth not in word the, same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also." (Jas. 3: 1, 2).

The Christian, with special emphasis on the teacher, preacher, elder, deacon or public servant in any capacity, must exemplify Christianity in life and word. Note the following passages: "Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity." (I Tim. 4:12). Paul warned, in Rom. 2, some professed teachers saying, "thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself." (Rom. 2: 21). Jesus taught that his disciples are "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" and admonishes "Even so let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 5: 13-16). In Col. 4: 6 we read, "Let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one. James admonishes, "let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." (Jas. 1: 19). Since our speech is most revealing we should be especially careful to keep our lives and speech pure that our example before others may be good.

To give honor to God and His name is especially important for His children. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Hallowed by thy (God's) name." To hallow is to consecrate, make holy, bless. Jesus prayed that the Father would glorify His name and received reply from heaven, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. (Jn. 12: 28). He also prayed for His own glorification. (Jn. 17:5).

These passages are brought to our attention to emphasize the holy nature of the name of God and Jesus Christ. To profane is "to violate or treat with irreverence, obloquy, or contempt (something regarded as sacred) ; to desecrate. 2. To debase by a wrong, unworthy or vulgar use." (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition). To use the name of God or Jesus Christ or any terms applied to them or derived from them in a vain, a common, a frivolous or light way is to profane the name of the Father and the Son. Many carelessly drift into habits of such usage unintentionally, but the lack of intent does not destroy the seriousness of the profanity. To use the name of God or Christ in a slang oath is to use them in a vulgar sense and to do anything but glorify them. Many terms used by men in loose speech had their origin in the name of God or Christ. Of these are such terms as "Lordy", "Gee", and "Gosh". "Lordy" comes from "Lord" used to refer to God and especially to Jesus. Of "Gosh" we read "a minced form of God: often used interjectionally, as a mild oath." (New Century Dictionary). At times it is heard, "The Lord have mercy" used merely as an exclamation rather than as a prayer for mercy. These along with a multitude of others profane the name of God.

Jesus gave the rules for overcoming profanity and all other abuses of speech when he said, "let your speech be yea, yea; nay, nay and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one." (Matt. 5:37). Words which do more than affirm or deny are idle, useless and more than this, harmful. They are condemned by Jesus and unless forgiven will condemn us at the last day." (Matt. 12:37). (Quotations in this article are from the American Standard Version. This article has been limited to profane use of the name of God and Christ. Other articles will deal with other abuses of speech.)

Truth Magazine I:6, pp. 14-15
March 1957