W. Austin Gardner
Biblical Communication 11
Corrupting critical speech uses unfavorable comparisons and competition to hurt others. Rotten speech threatens. Destructive talk attacks the other person. We can do that by raising our voice, withdrawing in hostility, using sarcasm, or whatever to wound the other person.
If we wanted to help or edify, build-up, we would be clear when we spoke. There would be no hidden agenda, no contaminated message.
We do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit of God with our speech and communication. Ephesians 4:30.
No corrupt communication; an unwholesome talk should come out of our mouths. Corrupt refers to rotting, decaying, putrid, or in simple terms, trash talk. That is no talk that corrupts another. Nothing foul or dirty should pass our lips.
That means we do not want to use vulgarity, indecent language, dirty jokes, off-color stories. We do not want to use racial slurs. We do not want to put someone down. We decided to use no mean-spirited comments. Gossip and rumors are off-limits. False accusations are what the accuser of the brethren uses, so we will not use them. No threats, constant criticism, intimidation, cheap shots, condemning, or exaggerating the failures of others should come from our mouths. We won't say something and then try to make it right by saying we were joking. We say no to corrupt communication. Ephesians 4:29
We know the power of the tongue. It can kill or give life. We do not want a throat that is an open grave. We don't want to be the tombs of dead things. We don't want to be stabbing people with our words—no more stinking speaking.
We need to be careful not to use words meant to judge or even give the idea of judging.
Sometimes we attack character more than we do the behavior when we speak corruptly. We attack the very identity of the person. It is challenging for the person to fix a problem, failure, or sin if we insinuate that it is the way they are and not something they did wrong.
The speech is corrupting when it is all a blame game, fault finding. It tears the other person down. So often, we bring up old history and pretend that, that history is proof of how that person is. That is corrupting speech because it has no desire to fix an issue but rather to slink mud. We speak corruptly when we bring up old beefs that were supposedly fixed. Corrupt speech enjoys rehashing the past.