September 10, 2023

Corrupt Communication Among Christians!

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Are you surprised by the title of this article? Corrupt communication is one of the maladies that wreck the peace and progress of many biblical churches in recent days. However, it is not a new phenomenon. It is an age-old problem. The apostle Paul was subjected to awful defamation by several unprincipled groups in the early churches (cf. 2 Cor. 10:10). Even our Lord Jesus Christ was not spared by the evilness of vile men who presented themselves as pious.

These days, our church has been the target of vile, flagrant accusations. These accusers, who generally magnify themselves as pious men with special knowledge of “GBPC’s sin”, have been whispering here and there! They are looking for partners for their gossip mill within our church, so they can cause division within us. May God protect us from their venomous words! 

Let us heed the divine counsel and refuse to be corrupt communicators. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another… 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 4:25, 29).

No Corrupt Communication!

Ephesians 4:29a – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”.

This is a prohibition against bad speech. The Greek word for “corrupt” denotes that which is putrid, rotten, and hence corrupting, defiling and injurious. Jesus said in Matthew 15:18, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

Corrupt communication includes many kinds of bad speech, such as bad language, vulgar and profane exclamations, foolish talking, filthy conversation, unprofitable remarks, profane oaths, lies, false witnessing, angry utterances, provocative words, demeaning statements, hurtful words, curses, threatening, abusive language, ridicule, gossips, slandering, false accusations, proud and arrogant expressions, boasting, flattery, misleading advice, false teaching, unwholesome and filthy songs, etc.

Corrupt communication can easily occur; it is a common malady, even in churches and among Christians. Not only do new Christians fall prey to it, even believers who are well advanced in sanctification have been overtaken by the sin of evil communication. We must always be watchful against falling into this unsavoury conduct. Since our bad speech is an expression of our defiled thoughts and feelings, we must strive to cleanse our hearts and minds constantly, and to keep them from being defiled again.

It is also important that we avoid the company of men and women who engage in evil communication. Those who spend time communing with people who are unguarded in their speech will soon be like them. Those who read unwholesome material or entertain themselves with profane shows will easily learn their bad language and mannerisms. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Godly men will be cautious of what they say. They will pray to God to help them guard their speech. If we learn to control our tongue, we can avoid many embarrassing situations. We can also avoid many quarrels, as well as the poisoning and even severing of friendships. Let us make David’s prayer in Psalm 19:14 ours as well: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Only That Which is Good for Edification!

Ephesians 4:29b - “but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Immediately after prohibiting corrupt communication, Paul encourages good speech. He advises Christians to see that their words are well-chosen, to the extent that they edify others. The conversation of Christians should be honourable and beneficial, so that it edifies, rather than harms or destroys others.

Speech is a special gift from God. We must use it as His Word directs us. Here, we are exhorted to use it for edifying one another. The Greek word that Paul used for “edifying” (oikodómēsis) denotes the act of building a house. In Paul’s epistles, it is used to indicate spiritual nurture or advancement.

We must, through our speech, seek to build one another up. We must speak so as to do good to others. By relating our testimony of salvation and sharing the Gospel of Christ with the unsaved, we can point some souls to Christ our Saviour. Through friendly discussions, we can impart God’s truths to the young or less mature in faith, that they may grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. We can comfort those who are weary and sad with God’s promises. We can prevent some from going astray by providing timely and wise advice. We can correct and restore those who have erred in their ways by admonishing them in love.

There is a great need for us to engage in godly conversation that will bring edification to one another. Merely refraining from corrupt speech is not good enough. Great spiritual disaster will come upon our church, friends and family members, if we choose not to speak when there is a need to do so. Where there is a lack of godly conversation, the unhindered growth of spiritual maladies will take root and fester.

We must speak with wisdom and grace to impart spiritual blessings and protection to others. May our words provide spiritual benefits. As Paul said, we must strive to “minister grace unto the hearers”. Proverbs 25:11 tells us, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Appropriate words spoken at the right time in the best manner are beautiful and precious, indeed. Let us remember that our words have power, either for good or evil. Let us, therefore, speak in such a way that will build up our hearers, and not tear them down.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
Our mailing address
Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram