The Weight of a Word

He who opens his mouth is sure to put his foot in it.

We laugh, perhaps a little sheepishly. Who hasn't spoken without thinking (or after thinking) and said something that he later wished he could take back.

It seems that what comes out of our mouths is no laughing matter to God.

Jesus said: "But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" —Matthew 12:36.

What grabs my attention here is the context surrounding His words. He had just finished calling the Pharisees a "brood of vipers" (12:34) for the evil that they continually spoke. I can understand that evil words will be judged. That makes perfectly good sense. But what I take note of is that the Lord didn't say only our evil words would be judged, He made a point of saying that our careless words would be judged.

My online dictionary describes "careless" as: not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors. Sometimes I speak to hurt, other times I speak without thinking and my words hurt. Sometimes I communicate misinformation by my words.

It's easy for me to excuse my carelessness, but God doesn't. That truth gives new weight to the saying: "Think before you speak." The cost attached to speaking without weighing the words before they slip from between my teeth, is high.

Comments

  1. This is a hugs struggle for me. HUGE. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of it.

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  2. Yes, we speak to flippantly, don't we?

    My father is a man that doesn't speak much. He taught to watch our words, not fill our language with "vain" words, not to use words that even hinted of taking the Lord's Name wrongly. He often quoted the poem:

    There was once a wise old bird.
    The less he spoke, the more he heard,
    The more he heard, the more he learned.
    Why can't we be like that wise old bird.

    (the 3rd line doesn't seem quite right...anyone know what I'm forgeting?)

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