If cleanliness is close to godliness then hip-hop music is in danger of hell-fire. According to a study by the lyrics website Musixmatch, hip-hop is the most profane music genre, followed by heavy metal. The website analysed lyrics from pop, hip-hop, indie rock, folk, heavy metal, country, and electronic music. Of the 361 artists, rappers reigned supreme as the worst dirty-mouthed artists. US rapper Lil Wayne has the highest count of swear words in his lyrics, followed closely by Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and TI Wayne.

I grew up in a Christian home with Godly parents who were very involved in the local church. I was a good girl at home; compliant, obedient, and eager at Sunday school and youth group. But underneath the shiny veneer of the sweet-little-angel was a rebellious teenager who wanted desperately to fit in with the cool kids at school. I started using words to get noticed. I became pretty good at re-using every foul word I heard in a way that grabbed the attention of anyone within earshot. In short, I swore like a sailor at school and took my halo out, dusted it off and put it back on when I got home or went to church.

Years later, I chose to follow Jesus with all my heart and one of the first things I knew I needed to change, was my words. If I was going to be a good ambassador for God, I could no longer use the cuss words that had so quickly become my default. I knew that what comes out of the mouth is a public declaration of what’s really going on inside the heart (the Bible tells us that in Luke 6:45). Like a tea bag, it’s only when it gets in hot water that you get to see what’s inside.

What comes out of your mouth when you land in hot water? Or like that toothpaste analogy – when you squeeze the toothpaste tube, what comes out? When you get squeezed by the tough-stuff of life, what comes out of you?

I had to re-train my thinking and speaking. As I saturated myself with new, positive words from the Bible, good books and life-affirming songs, my thoughts started changing and in time, I changed. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he, the Bible says (Proverbs 23:7). I no longer wanted to be known as the rebellious girl who used the meanest, baddest words around. I’ve changed, and now I speak life.