“I DECIDED AT THE BEGINNING of the year,” said one of my co-workers, “that I was going to stop complaining and focus on being positive.” I acknowledged that I admired her for her decision. I confessed if I’m not careful, I can easily get sucked into negative conversations. I admitted I could benefit from such a resolution.
Then she shared the message of a devotion she read in which it asked the reader to evaluate the percentage of time during their day they talked about God compared to TV programs, movies, music, and other entertainment venues. In other words, what are our conversations saying about us? Where are we spending our time? What seems most important?
I found my friend’s timing for sharing this information impeccable, for during a recent church service, the sermon topic focused on our words and what we say. Hmm…..could God have a message in all this for me?
What caught my attention in the sermon were these verses, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37, NIV)
Whoa!!! I know I had read these verses before, but this time they spoke to me a message I had never heard. We will be held accountable for the words we speak. Our words determine our reward. Our words determine our judgment.
What a sobering thought! How many times have I said cruel and hurtful words? How many times have my words been crass and careless? How much time do I spend honoring God with my words? Being positive? Speaking encouragement? Sharing with others the blessings He has given me?
What I learned from this sermon and these Bible verses is that my words reveal my character. And, whether I like it or not, my words shape my destiny. They determine my judgment. They determine my reward.
In order to change my ways, I realize I have some work to do. Taming my tongue is not going to be easy, and I will stumble along the way. But I, like my co-worker, have decided to be conscious about what I speak. I want to spend my time praising God with my words. I want what I say to bring honor and glory to Him.
So, what about you? What words are you speaking? What do they say about you?
“No rotten talk should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up of someone in need, in order to give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 HCSB)
Prayer: Dear Father, please help me guard my tongue. Help me use my words to build others up instead of tearing them down. Let my words be encouraging, uplifting and point people to you. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
Photo courtesy www.morguefiles.com & Darren Hester