May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
I've found myself repeating that verse to calm me down. I've been cursing quite a bit - albeit underneath my breath - this past school year. But I realize that that's not a good Christian testimony (1) and it's not good and healthy language, which is what my students need to hear (2, and probably more important).
I don't think that there is real justification for swearing. having said that, I'm coming to some horrible grips with myself. I'm finding myself swearing increasingly. More recently, I think it's been dying down, but honestly, the words of my mouth are not acceptable to my God, who is my Rock and my Redeemer.
Therefore, it shows that my thoughts aren't always pure either. Because that's what the mouth does, it eventually exposes what's in the heart.
And the heart is deceitful and wicked. Who can understand it? I certainly can't even comprehend my own heart.
But here's another reason why, as for Christians, it is a big deal to swear: it's language made of words. Jesus himself is described as The Word. Now, one can argue that it's different, that Jesus is the Logos, the answer to the (largely Greek) hypothetical and philosophical questions of life. Or that he is God revealed, or revealed God. But the simple fact of the matter is that God chose to reveal himself by actions AND words. And furthermore, that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. That God spoke...
So, words are sacred of their own right, for Jesus, by being the Word, made them sacred. For God, by speaking through words, made them sacred. For the Holy Spirit, by consistently using the Word to change and shape lives, makes them sacred. And as such they should be treated by those who worship a sacred God.