“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23
How much does what we say matter? Some people believe in saying whatever comes to mind, often with no regard for the consequences or the fruit of their words. And words do have consequences.
Are Your Words Meaningful or Idle?
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
Idle words are are not just useless words, but words spoken without care or concern about how they may effect others. Speaking without thought or care is what brings judgment. Think about it. Let's say your words cause someone in Christ to fall. You bear some responsibility for that loss!
What about those who fail to turn to Christ because of something you said? To top it off, you may not even know it happened! That’s why we must take care and be mindful of what we say as much as possible.
“In the abundance of words transgression ceaseth not, And whoso is restraining his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 YLT
Refrain From Making Excuses for Emotional Outbursts
Additionally, we should never make excuses for what we know is improper or offensive speech. Neither is being angry or upset about an issue an excuse to verbalize our thoughts when they could offend. There is no justification when we are warned to guard our tongues. This is why James said…
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19
Sometimes we say things simply because we feel we have the right to express ourselves. While we do enjoy freedom (not total) of speech under the law and the human right to free expression, not everything that comes to mind should be spoken. Wise men take care and think about others. To just blather words because we have the right and not care what others think or the affect it may have on your audience can be considered selfish and self-centered.
Paul was speaking of a different issue. Yet his words are appropriate…
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:…” 1 Corinthians 6:12
Many times it simply satisfies the flesh to speak out or express our opinion. Saint or not, there are times when silence is truly golden. Let wisdom and forethought be your guide.
“A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” Ecclesiastes 3:7
We Are Known by the Fruit We Bear
Men will know and judge you by your words. They, along with our actions, make up the fruit we bear. We are asked to bear good fruit. How else will others be filled and nourished? How else will others receive from us anything of value?
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. Proverbs 23:15-16