Every Careless Word
On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:33-37 (RSV)
In this day and age, people around the world have probably the greatest ability and opportunity to communicate to others than ever before.
Think about it. With our current technology, we can digitally communicate our thoughts to people we do not even know, via a myriad of electronic devices. All this is possible via the Internet, the World Wide Web (www) of mankind.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave if at first we seek to deceive!"
I heard that old saying long before the world wide web of communication came into being, but oh how true and applicable it is today! Especially when we consider that more people than ever before believe they can say anything and everything about whoever and/or whatever they feel like with impunity. But is that wise?
Many proverbs emphasize the importance of sound speech and that silence is better than unhealthy speech (e.g., Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 15:4; Proverbs 17:27-28).
SOURCE: The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament.
That deals with the practical side of the issue, but to pause and consider the fact that on the day of judgment we will be held accountable for EVERY careless word… wow! To even attempt to contemplate the number of times I have spoken “carelessly” is overwhelming. To utter something without regard as to its effect upon myself and others clearly brings home how thoughtlessly I have been living my life. And for those who are reading this and thinking to themselves, “I’m good, as I am well aware of how I speak about and toward others”, I would say, “Think again!”
Also note that Christ seemingly allows no quarter to those who consider themselves covered by his atoning sacrifice on the cross.
While I am aware that in 1 John 5:13 it says, “I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” But I am also aware of what Jesus said as is recorded in Matthew’s gospel account;
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ ”
Matthew 7:21-23 (RSV)
So what’s the solution? Seems to me there is only one solution. It is the solution that Jesus offered time and again during his time here on earth – and the same solution he continues to offer today –“Abide in me and I in you.” (John 15:4) As long as I sincerely and diligently seek to abide in him, there is little room for little else.Wouldn’t you agree? 😇
- Guard your tongue (livingmoreabundantly4christ.com)
- Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth: A Reflection on Common Sins of Speech (adw.org)