“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. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12: 35-37
Whoa. You can’t that? Words matter. Big time.
If you’re like me, upon reading that, your mind began flashing back to conversations you had today, yesterday, 10 years ago. Memories rush in like a flood of all the “idle” words spoken through the years. Some translations use the word “careless” instead of idle. It means either lazy, or without purpose or point. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
If giving an account of our idle or careless words isn’t a tad disconcerting, Jesus ups the ante with His next comment:
“for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (v. 37)
Now I don’t know about you, but on first glance, that messed me up. Praise God that we have the WHOLE counsel of God’s Word, and not bits and pieces (like Thomas Jefferson). Doing a bit of chewing on this one today, I ran across a commentary that pointed me to Romans 10:9:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Praise God! My words justify me when those words are my confession of Jesus as Savior and Lord! I’m justified by grace through faith, and not of works!
Then go back and look at the words Jesus spoke before He mentioned idle words. He was talking to the Pharisees about blaspheming the Holy Spirit (after they basically called Jesus Satan), and about good trees bearing good fruit, and bad trees, bad fruit. What’s inside matters, and the way we see what’s inside is by what comes out. (That was profound, wasn’t it?)
You’ll know a tree by it’s fruit. Garbage in, garbage out. What we say does justify or condemn us, just like Jesus said. If I’ve been changed by Jesus, if I’m not who I once was, what comes out of my mouth should be different than what used to. If I haven’t been changed…well…inspect the fruit.
So practically, if you could record your words now and your words in your B.C. (before Christ) days, would they sound different?