I recently read an article which stated that according to Federal aviation inspectors who have listened to the final words of pilots recorded on the “black box,” that just before a crash, they frequently hear profanity. In other words, the very last words spoken in the cockpit and preserved in the black box are often not prayers but curses.
When you’re in trouble, what do you do? Do you turn to God in prayer or do you shout curses at the situation and the people around you? The book of James reminds us: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray” (James 5:13) Praying is a much better use of our mouths and those words both honor God and bless people.
According to Jesus, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45) The words we speak can reveal what our hearts are full of.
Proverbs 4:23 encourages us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” How do we guard our hearts, but being careful what flows into it. The movies and TV shows we watch, the music to which we listen, the people with whom we hang out, all these become influences on us. I can personally testify that if I’ve watched a movie with profanity that those words that I’ve heard tend to pop into mind when I hit my thumb with a hammer or hit a golf ball into the woods. If you’re having a hard time monitoring what comes our of your mouth, you might want to consider being proactive and monitoring what goes into your heart.
Our mouths can be a restless evil, but they don’t have to be. Consider the alternative given to us by the Apostle Paul: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) Very simply, why not use your words to bless rather than curse? Using profanity doesn’t prove you’re a grown man or woman, it simply shows you’re not mature enough to control your tongue.
The next time you’re in trouble or taken by surprise, think about the words that you utter. What do they say about the condition of your heart?