<<dishonest, crooked>>

As a result of mankind’s disobedience and sin the whole earth became corrupt with even our righteous acts being as filthy rags in God’s sight (Gen 6:11,12; Ps 51:5; Eccl 9:3; Isa 64:6; Mt 23:27). God says, “Every inclination of man’s heart is evil from childhood” (Gen 8:21). Paul’s estimation was, ‘I’m totally rotten in my old sinful nature’ (Rom 7:18).

Corrupt behaviour originates as thoughts and if not dealt with quickly will be revealed in words and actions with devastating and often irreversible results (Mk 7:20-23; Gal 5:19-21; 2 Tim 3:1-5).

The Bible’s message is, “Bring every thought into obedience with Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). One of the underlying principles of the Christian faith is self-discipline. “The grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present world” (Tit 2:12). Ultimately

an unpleasant harvest will be reaped by catering to the sinful nature while sowing good seed will result in a beneficial harvest (Gal 6:7,8).  The type of harvest depends on the seed sown, which we determine by our choice.

The root of corruption is a love of self. This must be continually confronted, with repentance being an ongoing necessity as sin continues to taint and defile all it touches, as whatever is on earth has been corrupted to some degree. The solution is we must deal with the evil human nature (2 Cor 7:1; Eph 4:22,24; Jas 4:8; 1 Jn 1:9, 3:3). God provides the means of cleansing (the blood of Christ) yet it up to us to activate it and continue to walk in righteousness.

Power and authority can become corrupt as those in such positions use the privileges to cater to their own personal selves and not minister on the behalf of those for whom that authority was vested in them. It is essential to have clear guidelines, sound uncompromising ethics and transparent accountability with a true awareness of the repulsiveness of sin.

Our eyes are not satisfied when our carnal desires are aroused; the mind subconsciously begins to engineer situations to bring those urges into reality (Prov 27:20). How do we protect our thoughts and lives from corruption?  By relying on God’s power; being selective in what we see, read

Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent – James 1:21

and hear; by knowing God’s Word; by guarding our heart; being accountable to others; praying for deliverance; speaking only wholesome words; thinking about what is good, pure…; having right and wholesome friendships (2 Chr 14:11; Ps 101:3, 119:9,11; Prov 4:23; Eccl 4:10,12; Mt 6:13; Eph 4:29; Phil 4:8; Jas 4:4). Be ruthless about any seemingly innocent but questionable activity. Evil, like weeds can subtly and deceitfully grow quickly and choke out what is righteous (Mt 13:7,22).  Through God’s divine power and nature within, we can escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Pet 1:3,4).

Corruption is the progressive effect of deterioration – be it spiritual, moral or the physical body – leading to death and decay. Two Scriptural examples are “Bad company corrupts good character” while “The tongue corrupts the whole person” (1 Cor 15:33; Jas 3:6). If we compromise in one area, we most likely will give-in on other issues too as the infection spreads. In contrast, holiness leads finally to the resurrected spiritual body which will be immortal and not experience corruption (Rom 8:21; 1 Cor 15:42-57).

See also: clean and unclean, evil, morals, purity, sin/sinners, temptation, thinking/thoughts, wicked.