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Corrupt Communication

by Stephen Ross

"The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity ... " James 3:6a

Christian, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God by the "corrupt communication" which proceeds out of our mouths. The Word of God tells us that evil speaking, foolish talking, filthy communication, blasphemy, clamour, jesting, and lying should be put away from us and should never be a part of our speech as saints of God (Ephesians 4:25, 29-5:4; Colossians 3:8).

Therefore, there are certain words and expressions commonly used today even among Christians which we need to "prove" in light of God's Word and to purge from our speech. Please prayerfully consider the following words and expressions for our Lord's sake, our brethren's sake, our neighbor's sake, our children's sake, and for our own sakes. For "if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:2).

Corrupt Words:

gee — euphemism for Jesus used as an introductory expletive or to express surprise or enthusiasm. This commonly used euphemism blasphemes the name of our blessed Saviour and Lord.

   Note: an euphemism is "the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant."

jeepers — another euphemism for Jesus.

golly and gosh — euphemisms for God. When we use these words we are taking God's name in vain.

darn — euphemism for damn.

heck — euphemism for hell.

Corrupt Expressions:

oh my god! — a very common expression used by adults and children. The Third Commandment says "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11).

holy cow, holy mackerel, holy smoke — used as an exclamation of surprise, amazement, or bewilderment. The Bible says "He sent redemption unto His people ... holy and reverend is his name" (Psalm 111:9).

Christian, perhaps you can think of additional words and expressions which God calls "corrupt communication." Let us put all these words away from our lips and lives, and let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Hebrews 13:15) and speak "that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." Psalm 141:3

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