Careless Words

Sunday, June 5

The Bible has a lot to say about our speech. The Psalms and Proverbs cover just about every aspect of this subject.  The N.T. has a lot to say, too.  James shows a wise balance in James 3:2.  “For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.”  Well put—but a standard that is impossible to attain.  He adds “The  tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body, and is itself set on fire by hell.”  James 3:6.  Strong language. Though he nails the problem, James doesn’t say much about a solution.  He does say that “this ought not to be”  (v. 10) and that “no human being can tame the tongue” (v. 8).  He implies that we should turn to God for a solution.  Jesus said “not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”  Mt. 15:11.  And in Mt. 12:34 “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”   Then in v. 36 he warns the Pharisees “. . .  men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken . . .”   Note that Jesus says “careless word” here—not lying words or blasphemous words.  Words that are not positive, even without malice, are to be judged.  So our 30,000 words a day need to be reduced— or replaced with better words.  Fill the glass with good stuff!

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