Every Spoken Word
In Matthew 12:36-37 Jesus is giving advice to all that will hear.
But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Often as the case was in the days of His preaching the Pharisees were in plain hearing of what Jesus said. Some may have been present during His offering of the beatitudes, but there is no record of it in scripture. He does however point to the Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 5:20 as a bench mark of righteousness. And while He points to the high bar of righteous morality Jesus brilliantly gives all to hear some very valuable advice. Matthew 5:37.
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
This scripture has its foundation in Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Before I sought Christ as my Savior and Lord, I never gave much thought about speaking words. I was educated in the worldly way which demanded concise communication for pitching and selling ideas. I even studied debate as an interest. There are those that are eloquent in their word usage, other are pointed and still others are soft-spoken. The are many different styles of speaking amidst the secular world. There is no stopping new creations of babble either. The results are escalating hatred and violence even among the faithful!
Earlier I had written that I take what Jesus said very seriously. As I press into His words I realize more and more how much of my old me was in ever-present peril. I thought about words I spoke in the way I had an expectation for the world to hear them. They weren’t gentle, filled with compassion, encouraging or even altogether helpful That was 30 years of my life! I couldn’t possible recall all the words I said, or spoke either in truth, lies, exaggerations or verbal assaults. So, when I read the words of Christ as in the above scripture, you can imagine how mortified I felt. At first, this was very hard to read, just as much of Christ said was difficult to get through. Then I had to ask myself if these were loose suggestions. But in rereading His words I saw and understood on the day of judgement ‘every’ idle word was up for review. Then I did scripture comparison. And more than the above scriptures I came to find another even more specific. James 3:8.
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
As I reflected on the old me, this scripture rang true. An ex-wife of mine used to say, “What you say is right, but the way you say it makes it impossible to hear”. This revelation presented me with a choice. It wasn’t a choice such as flipping a switch as to turn on a light. A choice which provided immediate change, oh no. This choice was one I’d have to contend with until I unlearned some very well-established habits. And even still to this day, I care very little about what people think against what I have to say. I’ve chosen to be less outspoken. I am inclined to consider what folks articulate. What they do articulate doesn’t always require a response and most certainly doesn’t demand a reaction.
In our world we have celebrities. These folks have a platform to speak like none other. And depending on where their agenda leans to they always seem to find a curious and supportive audience. Many folks in the new technology of the internet have also been given platforms to speak like celebrities. In most cases the position of influence is a very desired place to possess.
Celebrities makes lots of money for their personas. They for the most part protect their identity very carefully. Their language is currency. You can meet any celebrity you want, if you have the right amount of money to depart from. Certain types of speaking are highly sought after by very influential people willing to pay for the privilege of a private audience. They quite literally control the narratives talked about on many different information venues. Very few of them have humble roots. They consistently must outdo prior realities to remain current in that celebrity status.
Self-centeredness is a must for most these folks just because that is the nature of the beast. Self-worth also becomes very important to them. All of these traits remove the individual away from a relationship with Jesus. Self-centeredness requires such departure from humble truths.
In as much as we struggle to feel good about ourselves because we have determined we deserve such a wellbeing, we must look around and wonder why it is that there is such misery in this world. Might the misery begin with our readiness to be judgmental in our walks of life? Are we too busy with the details of our own well being to consider what might be helpful to others? Or are we just so opposed to certain thinking that we consider becoming involved as beneath our position? Do we just not care?
If we go to the book of Genesis during the story of creation. Genesis 1, God said, called and saw all of it. By God’s word our entire reality exists. Are words important to God? My inclination is that His words are very important. And if we as men and women are made in His image, then our words must also be important to Him. So much so that every word will be accounted for come the day of judgment.
The good news is that by God’s grace and mercy, Jesus paid for all of those poorly spoken idle words we have uttered. The most important words you may choose to speak today are by confessing that Jesus is your Lord and savior. By that confession all those ill willed words will be covered by the blood shed by Jesus on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for all of our corrupt creation. Then you must choose to walk in the way taught by Jesus looking for the citizenship privilege of being in heaven for eternity with The Word.