Is it okay to use bad language when it is commonly accepted?

We are a mass-media society. Our technological gifts serve as both a blessing and a bane. We are producing mountains of “words” everyday. Unfortunately, it seems that the “good” is outpaced by the “bad.” An author once said, “Words convey the mental treasures of one period to the generations that follow.” That being the case, what sort of “treasure” are we heaping upon generations soon to follow?

While most of us know filthy or harsh language when we hear it, opinions may differ. The Bible doesn’t mention specific words or phrases, but is clear with regard to how we are to use our gift of language.

In general, our words should lift others up, encouraging them toward a closer walk with God. Whether it is specific words or how we use them, our speech needs to point others to Jesus. Can you use common, but questionable words and point others to Jesus? Not likely (Ephesians 5:4). Can you laugh with the crowd at rough jokes and point others to Jesus? Not likely (Romans 12:2). Can you exchange in typical personal attacks and point others to Jesus? Again, Not likely (Proverbs 12:18).

When it comes to governing our tongues, we should put all that we say to three tests. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If it doesn’t pass all three tests, don’t say it.

Regardless of how common bad language seems to become we are called to be uncommon (Isaiah 50:4). Just as our Creator never changes, neither do the standards by which we should live…and speak. Don’t heap a pile of stones upon future generations. Sustain them with a timeless treasure (Isaiah 40:8).

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. 2001, The Commercial Appeal.