It actually takes a conscious effort and a firm decision to not speak against another.
Reference: v.36 "But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (NIV Bible)
Explore: They say that it takes seven positive statements to over-ride one negative statement. Words are so powerful, particularly those that are carelessly spoken and said to hurt or to instigate a reaction. We are so quick to throw our words around. And yet here Jesus is telling the Pharisees that every single word we say we will be accountable to.
Application: Being accountable for every word makes me feel that sometimes it may have been better if I was struck mute! Even just yesterday I was in a conversation with a friend and the topic turned to a person that I really struggle with. They knew this and were keen to hear more but I held my ground and just said, "We just approach ministry in a very different way." I would have loved to have vented about the hurt and pain this person had caused to the people that I loved, but the conversation had no purpose but to speak careless words against another. I realised that it actually takes a conscious effort and a firm decision to not speak against another. Often it's easier to go with the flow of conversation and throw your thoughts in, but we are to remember that words are powerful and we will be held to give account for everything we say.
Prayer: Lord, I know that already I have spoken careless words of hate and rejection. Forgive me for those words and make me aware when I am heading down that path again. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.