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Corrupt Conversation

An Exercise in Screwtaping

Close up image of women talking with their hands

 “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.”  Ephesians 4:29

You’re on target, Wormwood.

The woman’s incessant prattle will certainly serve our purposes. Her love of conversation has, at times, promoted unity and charity, but that is not to say that all virtues cannot be turned to vice.

At the dinner table when she has nothing to say, prod her to speak nonetheless. Let her share useless things that she read online—it annoys her father and stirs up place for his demons. Let her gossip. Her mother will either join in, or at least she will form ill opinions of others. Prod her to ask too many questions and of too personal a nature to her brother. You know how discouraged the brother is these days, and his demon has him on a short path to shame. The smallest mention of finances, relationships, or church attendance will deflate him.

Whatever you do, steer clear of compliments (the more specific, the worse), light-hearted stories (they cheer everyone dangerously), and sincere one-on-one discussions. Heartfelt disclosure with the little brother would be especially hazardous at the moment. His shame is thin covering for threatening potential to disturb our Father’s kingdom.

Conversation can sow seeds of unity or of discord. Use it ever for the latter end.

What in the name of satire—? Confused by the devilish tone? Intrigued by the irony? This post is part of a Screwtaping series. Check out the full story (and more Tempts) here.

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Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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