Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37, “I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NIV)
This teaching should concern us. I assume that you, like me, find yourself talking too much from time to time. When I speak too often or too loudly, I am usually being careless with my words. I joke around, I say dumb things. I say things I shouldn’t say. When I think back to the many times that I have hurt the feelings of others with my words, it was when I was trying to be funny or cute or trying to gain the attention of the crowd. I ended up embarrassing others and myself.
The question is, will I be condemned by what I say or will I be acquitted by what I say?
From the original language of the writing in Matthew, the word “careless” is better translated as “idle”. “Argos” (Gr.) means inactive, unemployed, lazy or useless. I get the mental picture of words that accomplish nothing. Like the small talk, the senseless joking around. Wasted words.
While we should be confident enough to speak up and engage in good conversation, we had better be careful. I am not advocating always being serious in conversations. I am, however, saying that we should remember that our words are forever. Words are a gift from God, we will give an account to Him on how we use them.
Psalms 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (NLT)