Genesis 43-45 Matthew 12:24-50
“And I tell you that on the Judgment Day people will be responsible for every careless thing they have said. The words you have said will be used to judge you. Some of your words will prove you right, but some of your words will prove you guilty.” (Matthew 12:36-37 NCV)
The Pharisees said some awful things about Jesus. As this passage begins, they accuse Him of being in league with Beelzebub, or, more commonly, the devil. They proclaimed to the people that His miraculous acts came because the devil was helping Him. As so often happened, Jesus turned their accusation around on them, noting that they sought to do the same thing and if He was associated with the devil, so were they. Then, He talked about our words. Our words usually come out unguarded and show who we really are. We’ll be judged by our words. Sometimes we’ll look good, other times, we’ll look as guilty as sin. The message of Jesus is clear: we must be careful what we say.
I’ll be honest. I wish this applied just to vulgar language. It bothers me when I see people, especially those who claim the name of Christ, using profane language. Sometimes they seek to soften it by exchanging certain letters with asterisks, but we all know what they’re saying. Jesus isn’t talking about that kind of language, though. He’s talking about the attitudes that are revealed through our words. We can describe our contempt for people in the most beautiful words, but the underlying ugliness will condemn us. We may do a good job of concealing our hatred, but God understands our message and we’re guilty in His eyes. We need to, as James reminds us, tame our tongue and, in so doing, change our attitudes towards our fellow man so that we love them as God loved us.
Lord, watch over my tongue as well as my heart. Let my words and thoughts show my love for You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.