Having covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). We are now continuing with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of which is ‘do not speak an idle word’.
Matthew 12:36 – ”But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The word ‘idle’ in the Strong’s here means: careless, lazy, thoughtless, unprofitable, injurious (by implication) and useless.
Everything begins with a word
Words are the most powerful force we have available to us. We can choose construction or destruction with the words we speak. They have the ability to help, heal, encourage, strengthen or hinder, offend, harm and demean. Everything begins with a word. Genesis 1 says ‘in the beginning was the Word’. God created the world with the Word (Jesus) and the enemy of our souls accuses us with his words whispered in our ear and heart.
Dr. Masaru Emoto conducted extensive studies on how our thoughts and intentions actually alters the shape and structure of water crystals. It may be incredible to discover but he found that a person can directly alter the geometric shape and structure of water by their words. Positive vibes facilitated the molecules to thrive, negative vibes resulted in them shrivelling up. That’s because both our thoughts and water derive from the same energy. Our human bodies are made up of more than 50%. This must be why we are so affected by the words spoken to us.
What percentage of our words are unprofitable?
We are told today that it is good to talk. That it’s good to get everything out in the open. But clearly the content of our words will be a topic of conversation on the day of reckoning. What percentage of our words are unprofitable? 50, 80, 90? Are we not quick to speak and slow to listen? You maybe like me, you like to make sense of your thoughts by speaking them out. You may be a person of many words or a person of few. This scripture is a harsh warning to us all. Do not speak an idle word.
We must shortly account for these idle words
Henry says – Christ speaks here concerning idle words, and shows what evil there is in them. It should concern us to think much of the day of judgment, and the reckoning upon our tongues. God takes notice of every word we say, even that which we ourselves do not even notice. See Psalm 139:4 – For there is not a word on my tongue, But O Lord, You know it altogether. Even when spoken without regard, God is aware of it. Vain, idle, disrespectful talk is displeasing to God. That which leads to no good purpose or is unedifying. These idle words are the same with that foolish talking and jesting which is illicit, Eph. 5:4 – neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. We must shortly account for these idle words. They will be produced in evidence against us, to prove us unprofitable servants, that have not improved the faculties of reason and speech, which are part of the talents we are entrusted with. If we repent not of our idle words, and our account for them be not balanced by the blood of Christ, we are undone.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue
How strict that judgment will be upon our account. Matt. 12:37 – For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. The constant tone of our speech, according as it is gracious or not gracious, will be used for us, or against us on that great day. Those who seemed to be religious, but bridled not their tongue, will then be found to have vain religion, James 1:26. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. As King Solomon said (Prov. 18:21) – Death and life are in the power of the tongue. The death or life we want to claim for ourselves, it says here, is in the power of our own words.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
May we truly take this to heart and be so much more aware of the words that we speak.
Be slow to speak He who restricts his lips is wise Proverbs 10:19 In a world of many words Such as we live in today, We need to be careful what And how much we say. When we are angry it makes sense To keep our lips shut tight, Remembering that our anger can never make Things right in God’s sight. How difficult at times it is To just relax and stay quiet, The power of strong speaking Can even lead to a riot. God in His great wisdom gave us Two ears and only one tongue, But that little instrument has such power To commit all manner of wrong. God is in heaven, we are on earth He always knows what to say and do Solomon in his great wisdom said, Let your words be few. There is a time for quietness and a time to speak The truth of this we can’t ignore. We should choose to speak less And so allow us to hear more! By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, with each truth of Your Word I stand convicted. Forgive me for every idle, lazy, thoughtless, unprofitable word I have ever spoken. Wash me clean in the blood. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.