I can remember a few years ago, when I discovered texting, and the whole scenario had me very confused. You mean to tell me that I have a phone, with which I can talk directly to you, yet I’m going to type? That Alexander Graham Bell’s work is just flushed down the tube, so that you can type your message? Little did I know that just a few short years later, my preferred medium of communication is text message. Before I place any call, I stop and ask myself, “Is this textable?”
However, one of the bi-products of the texting age is the inability to hear one’s tone. Often times, I will simply respond to a message sent to me, by my wife, with a simple “ok”; which is quickly followed by the question, “what’s wrong with you?” Because she can’t hear me speaking, she has trouble deciphering my disposition, and ascertaining my attitude. So many times it is not what we say but it is how we say it.
The Apostle Paul picks up this idea in Ephesians 4:29, when he says “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.” (KJV)
In other words, Paul is encouraging us to watch what we say; ensuring us that words have the power to destroy and build people. In order to preserve unity with the people in our lives we have to be, not only careful with what we say, but also how we say it. The following are 5 things that, if we’re not careful, will create corrupt communication:
Grandstanding, according to Dictionary.com, is to speak in such a way to impress others with what one knows. People will often grandstand in order to prove their point or to assert their power or position. This type of talk is corrupt, because it is purely selfish in nature, pointing to oneself and not edifying another.
Sarcasm is defined as harsh and bitter irony. These are statements made in such a way to taunt or mock someone else. I have to admit this is my favorite use of corrupt communication, because if done well, the hearer may not even realize you are insulting them. But insults in any form tear people down, and God is not pleased with that.
3. Double Talk
Some may call it talking out of the side of your neck, and others would deem it to be talking out of both sides of your mouth. Double talk is when you say one thing to please one person or group, but say the opposite with another person or group. This type of corrupt communication creates confusion and undermines unity.
Gossip is defined as idle talk, or the spread of rumors, be they substantiated or not. Only messy people relish in gossip, although all of us indulge in it. Also characterized as “talking behind someones back,” gossip promotes distrust and scepticism. Not only that, but people should have a safe place to share personal private things, without the fear of hearing it again.
Maliciousness is speech that is meant to be hurtful. Often people you know us best, will hurt us most, because they know what will tear us completely down. Malicious speech is hurtful, harmful and hateful, and that kind of nastiness is completely corrupt.
Please remember that corrupt communication will destroy any relationship. No one will tolerate all these for too long, because ultimately no good comes from such words. But let your word heal, restore, and edify. Because what good is it to win the war of words, but lose the relationship? You are in control of, not just your words, but how you express them, so speak well or forever hold your peace.
© 2015 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved
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