Why is using a curse word bad? Even if you replace a curse word with a word you still mean the same thing. Why can’t you just use a curse word but use it for a different meaning than intended?
Because language isn’t an individual thing. Every word that we use is not only defined by us but by the people who are listening or reading. The curse word isn’t bad in itself. It’s just air vibrations or marks on a page/screen. But it’s the meaning that either we ascribe to it or that others ascribe to it that is malicious.
For example in our context take the word “guk”. Originally it’s intention is just Korean for “person” and is meaningless. But then people took it and used it derogatorily towards I’m sure some very confused Vietnamese people. In that case those Vietnamese people probably didn’t understand nor care very much, but the intent of the people using it was sinful. But now imagine there’s a person who just grew up with the word and thinks that it’s fine. And they come up to you and say “are you a guk?” They’re genuine and not malicious, but you have that built up history of it and it’s sinful in your reception. Similarly think about English words in England or Scotland that are seen as bad which would be totally ok here. Either way, the word is not the problem, the people using it and hearing it are the problem.
So take a modern day curse word. Take any you think of. The very fact that you are thinking of it means that you are giving it a meaning that you use as a curse word. So in any instance that you use it, you will be using it with that context. And so you have to ask why are you using it? Yes, using a euphemism makes it better, but only slightly. The real better thing is why am I using this word and is there truly a different godly way.
So if you don’t say “I f____ing hate you” instead of “I really hate you” the better thing isn’t taking out that word the better thing is why are you hating that person and how can you learn to love them? Even in “positive” uses there is a better way. “I f___ing love you”. Why did you put that curse word in? You put it in because you were trying to add an emphasis. But you didn’t. You put an empty word in. Instead maybe what is really better is “I really appreciate what you just did and want to let you know how much I value you in my life”
Which brings me to a very practical reason I don’t like curse words. They are dumb. And I mean that in an intellectual way. They don’t mean anything. They aren’t articulate. And so when we use them we are actually being DISTRACTED from any real productive talk or thought. Have you ever been emotional and your mind is full of just curse words? You want to just shout them out. And sometimes you do. And what happens? Nothing. Or you just get more worked up. When really what you need are REAL words. “I am upset because I am disappointed that I didn’t get what I thought I deserved especially when I put in so much effort and really wanted it.” That’s a thought you can do something with. That’s a thought you can pray over and heal from. “F__k! F__k! S__t! D__m!” What you gonna do with that? Nothing.
Cursing isn’t bad because the words are bad. Cursing is a symptom that our hearts and minds are not seeking God and instead are being full of something else. The cure is not simply to stop using those words or to use euphemisms. The cure is to be full of God and the Gospel.