When we were camping in New Mexico, he and my brother-in-law decided to have an impromptu fishing tournament. After a few hours, everyone came dragging back with only one or two fish each. My son had caught only one, and it was the ugliest little fish that I had ever seen. That evening we were eating all the fried fish when my son asked why no one would eat his little
fish. Trying to be encouraging, I said that I would share it with him.
What a mistake! It was the worst tasting fish I have ever eaten. I ate it by puffing my cheeks out to avoid tasting it, but it didn't help. For his sake, I smiled and acted as if I loved it. After the kids went off to play, I asked the men what kind of fish it was. They laughed and said it was a bottom-feeding, algae eater that no one eats! They cooked it because they did not want Chris to be disappointed with his fish.
The Bible says that corrupt speech is like a bad fish. As food, it has no value and is good for nothing. Corrupt speech leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the hearer. Just like the fisherman discarded the bad fish in Jesus's parable of the fishing net in Matthew 13, Christians should discard bad language and hostile speech. In addition, we should not pretend approval when people around us are using foul language.
Foul and abusive language can also be compared to rotten fruit that spoils the good fruit in the fruit bowl. It contaminates
the thoughts of those who hear it. Bad language, mean words, cruel sarcasm are as damaging to children and adults as second hand smoke. The speech of a Christian should not be tainted with obscenities or worthless words, unsuitable for encouraging others. Everything we say should be a blessing to the hearer, not a hindrance.
Our children, especially, should not be exposed to bad language. Even if the language is overheard, children worry about and are upset by mean, hurtful words. Children need to hear loving and kind words in the home. Just as an edible fish produces good food and good trees produce good fruit, Christians should speak words that produce growth, not damage.