How many foolish, hasty, angry, impatient, grumbling, critical, deceptive, unwise things we have said... if we know it instinctively, Jesus warns us of it biblically.
Our Lord deals with words which are discredited, denounced, devilish, and need to be discarded: he does it in an unforgettably penetrating passage in Matthew 12:33-37.
"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (ESV)
It may have been wicked, blasphemous, Messiah-denying comments of Pharisees that prompted these remarks: Christ's statements, however, are of wider import.
We are taught FOUR simple, stunning, lessons about our words from this passage:
Our words reveal our life, v33 (good or bad)
Our words reveal our heart, v34 (inner overflow)
Our words reveal our goal, v35 (what our treasure is)
Our words reveal our end, v36-37 (whether heaven or hell)
If our words tell against us then we need to pray that God in His mercy might grant us new birth
If our words shame us then we need to repent and ask that the Holy Spirit might to do a fresh tongue-deadening work
If our words discredit our witness then we need to pray for cleansing by the blood of Christ and conformity to the mind, mouth & ambition of Christ
Pharisaic religion falls short of mark & mouth: New Covenant reality, on offer through faith in Christ, fills up all divine promises & supplies spiritual life & lip!
What story do your words tell & how will they be reckoned by King Jesus when He comes?