The Penn Speaks: Christians Don’t Have Any Business Swearing


Hey, I didn’t make that rule. If you have a problem with it, you’ll have to take that up with God. I know. It’s a part of our culture. What’s an American navigating the social justice system to do? By golly, what is the president of the United States supposed to do? Honestly, I don’t know. Perhaps we should start a movement to abolish swearings? That probably is not too likely, but we can take charge of our everyday language. This brings us to our key text coming out of Matthew 5:33 — 37 (KJV). The word of the Lord reads:

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

At this point in the scriptures, the disciple Matthew is chronicling the life and the teachings of Jesus while He was on the earth. It is actually Jesus whom is speaking here, and He is addressing a multitude. He explicitly tells his listeners that swearing is not to be done. Additionally, Jesus even goes so far as to list specific things not to swear by and why. We should not swear by heaven, because it is God’s throne. We shouldn’t swear by the earth, because well…that’s God’s, too, even if it is just His footstool. Furthermore, we don’t even have the authority to swear by our own heads, because God has a point. Our hair may be ours, but we have no control over how it grows let alone its color. Instead, Jesus actually makes things a lot easier for us. He essentially tells us that if we tell the truth and keep our word, there’s no need for swearing anyway. We are to simply let our yes be yes and our no be no. Life really can be that easy if we let it.

Have a blessed day!


Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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