Even though I’m not known as a gossiper, I would not want to be accountable for every word I say.
Reference: v.36 But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: “I can’t believe she would wear that!” “He is so full of himself.” “She becomes a totally different person around him.” “He thinks that car makes him so much cooler, but it doesn’t.” “They are such bad leaders.”
When written down these statements sound so petty, and yet, I would have to admit that I have been guilty of saying these and other similar statements.
In the younger generation I have noticed they have discovered three words that allow them to say anything horrible and gossipy. If you want to say something really mean and rude, all you have to do is start the sentence with, “No offense but…”
It’s then that they can go on and say whatever they like (usually something very offensive) and yet you can feel that its ok because they have started the sentence with those three important words!
Application: When I was reading through Matthew 12 I couldn’t help but notice verse 36. After reading it I went back and reread that verse over and over. I will have to give account for EVERY empty word I have spoken? All of them? That’s quite terrifying.
I was always proud that, when I was a chaplain, people would comment that I never said a bad word about anyone, but I knew that wasn’t always true. Even though I’m not known as a gossiper, I would not want to be accountable for every word I say.
And yet this shows that God truly does value words. What we say can build up or tear down. It is so easy for us to mutter a couple of words and yet, we need to be aware of everything that comes out of our mouths.
Prayer: Lord, I may not remember everything that I have said, but I know there have been many negative statements made. Forgive me, Lord, for tearing people down, gossiping behind their backs, and being offensive towards others. May I strive to be more uplifting with every word that I say. Amen.
Watch what you say today. Would you be happy to give an account for everything that comes out of your mouth?
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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.