Weighed Words

What an awful prospect! On the last day, when the books are opened and our actions are weighed in the balance, our words will bring justification [ acquittal] or condemnation. Why is that? Because, as we have seen, we speak from the heart (12:34-35). The Pharisees revealed their inner wickedness when they accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil (12:24). By contrast, those who confess faith in Christ before men will be commended to the Father by Christ on the Last Day, for their words will have confirmed their commitment to Jesus (10:32). But what are “idle” words? In short, anything that is “corrupt” [rotten, useless], that does not build others up in faith, hope, and love; that does not “impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). That includes, of course, “filthiness, foolish talking, coarse jesting,” as well as bitter, angry, contentious, and blasphemous speech (Ephesians 4:31), as well as “empty words” that deceive people into thinking that our actions will not be punished (Ephesians 5:6). The Israelites died in the wilderness because they spoke words of complaint (1 Corinthians 10:10), and Moses was barred entry to the Promised Land for his angry outburst in response (Numbers 20:12). That is why we should be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).