Sunday, June 6, 2021

Corrupt Communication

By R.W. McAlister

     Are you as tired of hearing it as I am? It fills television shows, it’s heard at the grocery store, the ballgame, restaurants, the workplace, it’s found in movies and in novels – it’s seemingly everywhere! What am I talking about? Profanity!
     We hear it—not just from sailors (“cuss like a sailor”), or from the French (“pardon my ‘French’”)—but from all segments of society. It used to be the case that a gentleman would never use profanity in the presence of a lady, and deep down, he probably knew he shouldn’t use it in front of anyone. These days, I occasionally hear (or hear about) women who can swear as fluently as anyone. Even small children now can “cuss a blue streak.” It almost seems as if some of the first words they learn are “four-letter” words.
     A recent study by the Parents Television Council found the use of profanity during the so-called “family hour” (8:00 to 9:00 Eastern time) is up fifty-eight percent from two years ago, and the nature of the language (sexual explicitness) is getting worse.
     I was surprised just a couple of evenings ago when my wife was checking out a movie on the Internet (to see if it’s something we could watch), and she mentioned the words of foul language that were in it. The article continued by saying those words (I won’t repeat them here) “weren’t serious.” We’re like Israel of old – we’ve become so desensitized to profanity, we don’t even blush! (cf. Jer. 6:15).
     The Bible is not silent concerning the manner in which we speak. Paul wrote: “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).
     The term rendered “corrupt” is the Greek sapros, meaning, “rotten; putrefied.” It references that which provides no good service. Our words in the presence of others ought to be such as build men up, rather than degrading them (Job 4:4).
     Again, the inspired apostle wrote: “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8). The term signifies that which is base; “foul or filthy” language.
     It used to be that if a child used foul language, he (or she) had their mouth “washed out” with soap. I think it’s time to get back to that, and not only for children! Let us dispense with corrupt communication, and use only speech which is “good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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