Your Words Lead to Guilt or Innocence
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37, NIV)
Talking at the wrong time can get you in trouble. As a kid, I can remember several times when I had to go to the front of the room and write on the blackboard, “I will not talk in class” 100 times as punishment for talking in the back of the room.
One of my best friends for over 30 years is a lawyer. He tells stories of lawyers who have been fined and been sent to jail by judges for their sarcastic and untimely remarks in court. Several years ago, I had a young woman as a client who was fired for an ethics violation that stemmed from a spontaneous conversation with another employee during a certification exam. I’ve had clients share stories of terminations due to personal use of company cell phones, inappropriate chat on company computers during work hours, reprimands for excessive violation of “break” schedules. All of this because people are talking, talking, talking.
As Christians, this verse serves as a warning about the consequences of our speech. We will be held accountable and judged for our words; and found innocent and acquitted or found guilty and condemned. “I was just teasing,” “I didn’t really mean it,” or “I didn’t know my words mattered” will not be allowed as an acceptable excuse. The nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a cruel lie from Satan. Words encourage and lift up or they hurt, cause pain and put down.
I encourage you to ask God to reveal the consequences of the words you speak. Decide today to choose your words carefully. There is much more at stake than a simple warning or reprimand. Your words will determine your freedom from sin and salvation or guilt and condemnation. Heaven or hell, now or later, those are the choices. Child of God, speak wisely or remain silent.
Lord, thank You for showing me the power of my words. Teach me to speak like Jesus with love and compassion or to be silent when I am afraid, hurt or confused. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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