How do I keep from thinking about profanity?

Last updated on October 7, 2020



I have a few questions for you, I go to a Christian school, and I love my Lord and pray and read the Bible every day. But recently this year some friends I hang out with swear constantly, and I do not like it at all. I do not agree with the concept of it, but every time someone swears, I feel like it just rattles in my head, and I try so hard to get the thought of it out. It sometimes feels like it is me swearing when an actual swear word pops up in my head (at random moments throughout my day), and I feel like I commit a sin every time a swear word keeps playing over in my head. I try so hard to get it out and rebuke it. Is there anything I should do? Is it me swearing, even if I don’t say it?

I would really appreciate it if you would give me a response.


Unfortunately, this is a common problem for Christians. We know profanity is wrong, but you can’t control the people around you. You can only set the example. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16).

What you are facing is not the sin of using profanity, but dealing with the temptation to swear. The best way to deal with temptation is to find something good to focus on. If you focus on the sin, you keep the temptation going, but if you focus on something good, there is no room for the bad thoughts. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9). It may seem hard at first. You’ll find the unwanted thought trying to creep back in, but just be persistent in focusing on good things and the troubling thoughts will fade. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It is not a rebuking of Satan, it is a stubborn ignoring of what Satan is trying to offer you.


Thank you so much. It is a big relief to know how to get rid of these thoughts. Although I do have one more question: What do you mean by “not a rebuking Satan, it is the stubborn ignoring of what Satan is trying to offer”. I would really appreciate it if you could explain that part to me more.

Again thank you so much!


What I am saying is that Satan isn’t going to listen to you. The problem is that you are listening to him. Resisting Satan involves ignoring him and rejecting his offers. When you find Satan being rebuked in the Scriptures, it is always “The Lord rebuke you” because that is the one whom Satan cannot ignore (Jude 9).


Thank you so much for your help and time. This has truly helped me. God bless and have I hope you have an blessed rest of this week.