Friday, August 31, 2007

Bite Your Tongue!

This is a picture of one of the stained-glass windows at my church, which I've played with and posterized.

I admire those who are organized enough to post to their blog every single day...I am NOT one of those people.

Today's thoughts are based on Matthew 12:34b, 36-37:
"For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks....But I tell you that mean 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."

These are, to me, some of the most convicting words in Scripture--because I have uttered MORE than a fair amount of "careless words," words that I really do not want to ever have to talk to Jesus about.

Now, I already know that my eternal destination is secure--I have placed my faith in Christ and in the power of His Blood. So my careless words aren't gonna keep me out of heaven; that's my home and I KNOW that I'm going there when my earthly journey is done.

BUT--I may just have some " 'splainin" to do when I get there. The way I think about it is this: I have two boys, both teenagers. They go out and do things; the oldest one is driving now, so he's out on his own more and more. But they KNOW, without doubt, that they have a home to come back to. It doesn't matter what they do, or what they say--this is still their home, and their mother still loves them. HOWEVER...when their mother finds out that they have said something that they shouldn't have, then they may have a little "Come to Jesus" meeting when they get home. They still have a home, they still have my love, but they are also going to have to explain why they said what they did.

Why did Jesus apparently feel so strongly about these "careless words" we speak? Because what we say, and especially what we say without thinking, reflects what our hearts are full of. That's what He says in verse 34, that the mouth is simply uttering what the heart contains...

What's in your heart? One way to tell is to pay attention to what comes out of you. I must admit, I can sometimes be very careless about what I say--I have a dry wit, a very sarcastic sense of humor, and enjoy making fun of things...but sometimes that borders on making fun of people, not things, of tearing others down instead of building them up, of simply being careless about what I say.

So, if I don't want to have to explain to Jesus why I said what I said, maybe it'd be good to start thinking a little more BEFORE I say it.

A good rule of thumb for whether to say what you're thinking is, not surprisingly, also found in Scripture. It's Philippians 4:8, and I'll end with it:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

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