I must confess, this is -at times- a real struggle for me. It is easy to think “replacement words” are better than the real thing. In the flesh, I can curl hair when I have allowed my unchecked anger to take over my brain. At those times, I can no longer form edifying words that make sense. My brain seems to no longer control my mouth, and unwholesome, uneducated, unflattering, and unglorifying words spew from my lips. So, replacement words MUST be better, right? Here’s what God’s word has to say:
Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
When I am at this place, the place where my heart is filled with a need to “swear” about something, I am no longer at the throne of God, because I have removed my focus from the Lord and placed myself back in the center of my focus. It is only those time of self-importance that I feel a need to rant with this sort of speech.
James 3:8-10 (NASB)
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
But God (!) still reaches me through His Holy Spirit. I have been full-throttle in my tirade when that “still, small voice” echoes through my heart like the roar of the ocean tide. I have been struck down, mid-sentence, by His urging to look back to Him. There have been times, sadly, when I cannot go back and undo what I have done. There is no glory for God in those times, and I have dishonored the salvation given to me by His grace.
But God (!) tenderly draws me back to the correct place of focus. His love draws me to repentance for my sin. His grace gives me opportunity to, once again, give glory to Him.
Philippians 4:13 (NASB)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.