Neglected Biblical Truths

Take God’s expectations seriously to only use words that are kind and courteous

Neglected Biblical Truths
Every Idle Word – Part II

Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:33-37

Key Verse: Matthew 12:36 NLT
“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.”

Yesterday’s devotional reminds us that it is the intentions of our words that God judges. Consider this:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)

Take note of the last eight words of this verse: “and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”.

We can guess what someone else’s intentions are, but only God can truly judge the intentions of one’s heart. God knows whether the Holy Spirit cautioned us before we spoke careless words that harm the reputation of the person we spoke about.

Remember Colossians 4:6 NLT when speaking about other people:

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

The definition of the word “gracious” is helpful: “courteous, kind, and pleasant”.

Do we take seriously these verses that remind us that God expects His children to use words that are kind and courteous? This does not mean that we cannot or do not speak the truth about or to a person. It simply means we lovingly speak the truth, as Ephesians 4:15 instructs us:

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Take note of what happens when we saturate our words with love: we grow “more and more like Christ”. That is what we want, correct? If we do not speak kind words in love, we look less and less like Christ.

A few verses later in Ephesians 4, we read:

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

Are these verses convincing you of the importance of your words?

God is listening to all our conversations; this should caution us not to use foul or abusive language! God will help us with this challenge, as we humbly seek help in prayer. We cannot do this alone; that is why God sent us the Holy Spirit to help us.

Father, forgive me for being careless with my words. I want You to help me to be gracious and kind in all my conversations. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.

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