Friday, November 13, 2009

Every idle word

Think of all the words you say (or type or text) on any given day. We live in a river of communication. A flood of words washes around us like a river. We are completely submerged in words and to that deluge we add our own steady stream of words.

What do we say? We preach, teach, chide, encourage, inform, tell, gossip, question, exclaim and entreat! We use words in our most public and most intimate lives. We use words that many people might hear and words that we hope will not be overheard at all.

Do we pay enough attention to what we say?
(Matthew 12:34-37) Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Our words are important because they reveal the contents of our hearts. Are we filled with truth? Then what we speak will be truth. Half truths or lies reveal our deceitful heart. Are we full of anger? Then our words will be bitter. Are we foolish? Then our words will be silly. Are we filled with pride? Boasts or false humility will reveal it.

You get the idea. Our words are a window on our soul. Jesus was interested in "every idle word" because, in fact, every word comes from the heart and reveals the heart. It will be the testimony introduced at the judgment.

What should we do? Should we be more careful what we say? Certainly so! We should be careful to listen more and talk less.
(James 3:1-2) My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
(James 1:19) ¶ So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
(Proverbs 17:28) Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
But this is only a partial answer and not enough.

The ultimate answer is not the window to the heart, but the heart itself. We need the new heart that God gives through Christ. We need to let the Spirit of God bring forth the fruit of righteousness in our soul.
(2Corinthians 5:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

(Galatians 5:22-23) ¶ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

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