The world today is full of ‘corrupting talk’. The Apostle Paul uses this phrase in Ephesians. It is anatural way of speaking in many cases among people who have no thought of God. The atmosphere created by godless ways of thinking and talking, which we often experience at school or work, constantly threatens to rub off on us. This atmosphere can so easily influence the way we think – and as a result, what we talk about. Although we are aware of this Paul’s words are a constant reminder.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion, that may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (the means by which God and Christ know all our thoughts and words – Psalm 139) … Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32).

We wonder what other comments Paul would have added if the internet had existed in his days. Use your imagination as to what he could have written! Do we realise the effect this has on us? It is all food for the mind – and might be compared with feeding on lots of junk food for our body. In many cases the medical profession can put our bodies back in reasonable order, but not so the mind. Thought processes and habits steadily destroy our character – and in the end there is no remedy.

Paul’s phrase “tender-hearted” jumps out. How few are “tender hearted” these days. The influence of our daily reading and meditating on the word of God is a significant ingredient towards making this attitude of mind happen with us. It is just as important to get our attitudes right. Take special notice of what Paul also writes, “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (verse 15). How is your growing up progressing?