In Ephesians 4:29 Paul writes “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We can speak to those around us in such a way that is destructive to them and to the kingdom of God.  So when is our talk corrupting? Corrupting talk would be anything that is not grace filled or does not serve to build the body of Christ.

At the heart of corrupting talk is an agenda to build a kingdom other than that Christ. It may be the kingdom of self. It may be the kingdom of your spouse or kids. Most of the time I speak with corrupting talk out of self-love or a desperate desire for the preservation of self.

Corrupting talk can come in many forms.  We may take the Lord’s name in vain.  We may use curse words.  Corrupting talk can be using wit or sarcasm to injure others or assert self.  It could be harsh communication that is meant to belittle, criticize, or embarrass. If we use the Ephesians 4 definition corrupting talk becomes more broad than saying bad words when we stub our toe. Our words are corrupt if they are advancing any kingdom other than Christ’s.

Take some time today to think about what kingdom your words are building.  Think about the last time corrupting talk spewed from your mouth and you wished you could take it back.  What do those words reveal about what you are trying to build?