Idle Words

I was reading in Matthew the other day, and I came across this verse:

"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 that men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words your words you will be condemned."
Matthew 12:35-37

That's a pretty scary passage - I shudder to think of the words I will have to give account for on the day of judgement. I'll be forgiven for them, because Jesus' blood covers all my sins, including my words, but I'd rather keep the list of things to account for short, wouldn't you?

It's so easy to say things we shouldn't. When you're angry especially, but I'm not talking about just that. Notice the verse doesn't say that you will give account of just every hurtful word, or every word spoken in anger. It says we will give account of every idle word.

I think that includes the times when we inadvertently say something hurtful, or don't think about the other person's feelings. The times that we let something slip that we shouldn't have. The times when we don't say as much as we should, or don't speak up when we should. All the times that we don't think before we speak.

See what I mean? That's scary.

Thank the Lord that even though we may have to give an account of every sin at the day of judgement, for those of us who are Christians, our Lord Jesus will step in. We may feel unworthy, because we are, but all He'll have to do is to reach out His hands and remind us again that He died to pay for that - and we'll never have to think about those sins again. His blood has already washed them away, and He claimed us as His children from the beginning of time.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

-Robert Lowry, from the hymn Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus

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Natalie said...

My friend was saying last night in our LIFE (small) group that she memorizes lots of verses about the tongue and words because it really is the most sinful thing. If you think about it, most of the things we do to hurt people come from words-what we did or didn't say, how we said something, the tone we used, etc. Crazy, right?! Thank goodness Jesus loves us anyway : )

Nicole Z said...

That is a very ominous verse. It's definitely made me start paying more attention to what I say because I'm the queen of speaking without thinking. I let my feelings/emotions run wild and my mouth/words run with it. Gotta keep it in check! Thanks for such a thought provoking post, have a lovely week! :)

Unknown said...

I totally love that! It made me stop and think about the many times when I am in the car and say a not nice thing to another driver..even though they can't hear me I am still held accountable for my words! Thanks so much for sharing that :)

Anne @ Sincerely, Britches said...

Great reminder, Callie. I always thought that verse in James gave such a great picture of the powerfulness of our tongues: "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
Seriously. Yikes.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the great reminder! I really do need to watch what I say more often

Anonymous said...

It is so easy to forget that we have to account for everything we do on earth. Heaven sometimes feels so far away - and we think if we apologise, our words will be erased. If only it were that simple!

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