What is the big deal with foul language? Whether we call it cursing, cussing, or expressing ourselves, the Bible commands us to avoid foul language. When Paul was writing his epistle to the Ephesians, he expressly forbade them from speaking any foul language. In this same passage, Paul also offers them an alternative to using foul language. Finally, he tells them why he offers this alternative.
First, Paul forbade the readers of this epistle from using foul language. I would like everyone to note that this passage does not say that we cannot use strong language. There is a time and a place for strong language. However, we should not allow our speech to become vulgar, even when we are using strong language. We should also avoid language that slanders another person, as well as language that is obscene. Instead of using this type of language, Paul suggests an alternative.
Paul's alternative to foul language is that we only use language that is good for building up someone who is in need. We should, at all times, use language that will help our neighbor grow. We should always look out for our neighbor's best interest, and do our best to help guide them in such a way that it builds them up, with the focus being on Christ. This step will involve more than talk, however. It will involve action.
Finally, Paul tells us why he gave us this alternative. He says that, when we stop using foul language and choose to use language that will build up the person who is in need, it will give grace to those who hear. Note that it does not say that it will give grace only to the person in need. This passage does not say that this course of action will only bring grace to you. Rather, it will bring grace to everyone who hears. This includes those who are not present to hear the conversation, but hear about it later. Starting today, instead of using foul language, let's choose to use language that builds up someone who is in need.