Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Open My Eyes That I May See"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 12:36-37 – 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)
During the recent Canadian federal election, several candidates were forced to withdraw after comments they had made on social media surfaced. These comments, which were thoughtless, ill-considered, and sometimes offensive and hateful, were probably dashed off quickly without any thought that they would be uncovered by journalists and political rivals. Careless words indeed! For these words, the candidates were roundly condemned.
These instances remind me of times when I have spoken or written careless words that I wish I could take back, words that have embarrassed or hurt others or reflected badly on my Christian faith. It is sobering to think that I will someday have to give account for these words and trust for the forgiveness of our Lord.
Before we speak or push the "Send" or "Enter" button on the computer, let's think carefully about what we are saying and how the words reflect on ourselves and others. Let's follow the counsel of the apostle Paul, who said:
Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let unwholesome talk come of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of words and the ability to communicate with You and with those we love. Help us to speak and write carefully, not carelessly, so that our words may build others up and glorify Your name. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.