“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister Grace unto the hearers.”

Ephesians 4:29

Our prayer should always be “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).


Jesus said “By your words you shall be justified and by your words you shall be condemned” (Mt. 12:37). And, He prefaced those words by telling us we’ll also “give an accounting of every idle (Grk. ‘argos’—‘inactive, unemployed, lazy, useless, barren, etc.’) word that we speak” (v.36).

Should that not give us reason to pause, reflect and restrain?

Most certainly it should.

That’s why the Apostle Paul fleshes this out further by warning against “corrupt communication.” The Greek word “sapros” is used here for “corrupt” and also means “rotten, worthless, putrid, perishing, defiled, etc.” And, when coupled to the word “communication,” which means everything we say, we should weigh every word BEFORE it flies out from the hangar of our lips.

Again, “by our words we’ll be either justified (Grk. ‘dikaioo’—‘to render just or innocent, righteous, holy, etc.’) or condemned (Grk. ‘katadikazo’—‘to adjudge against, pronounce guilty, indicted, invoke vengeance, invite punishment, etc.’).”

How loosely and easily “corrupt communication” springs from our lips:

Racy, off-color jokes. Malicious gossip. Cutting, critical remarks. Backstabbing words. Outright lies. Slanderous character assassination of others.

No wonder the world wants nothing to do with the Church. Why should they want to go inside the four walls of a church building on Sunday to hear deceitful words and songs of those who walk and talk like the devil six other days of the week??

May it never be said of us “I can’t hear what he’s saying for the way he’s saying it” or “He talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk” or “He speaks with forked tongue.” Of all people in the community or congregation of saints we should be known as a “person of our word,” whose words “raise up” (edify) rather than “raze” (tear down) with razor-like precision.

Oh, dear Pilgrim, the Heavenly Father gave us our tongues to glorify Him and “minister (Grk. ‘didomi’—‘bestow, deliver, administer, grant, show, etc.’) Grace unto the hearers.” This doesn’t mean we’ll never “speak the truth in love,” for there is a time and place for such edification (Eph. 4:15; Prov. 26:4-5; Eccl. 3:7b).

But, most of the times, as someone said, “Silence is golden” and intercession is preferable. And, assuredly, “corrupt communication” is never in order for one who calls himself a child of God and follower of Christ. Help us, O Lord, to “bridle our tongues” (James 3:2-3) so others will readily see Christ in us by the things we say and do.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 27, 2010

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