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  • Allen Domelle

Be Careful Little Tongue What You Say


Matthew 12:36-37

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.

Jesus taught that your words will either condemn or justify you. He cautioned against saying things in idle conversations that can be used against you. Jesus understood that those you think you can trust in private will likely use against you every word you spoke if they turn against you. Therefore, Jesus’ advice was to be careful about any word you speak because every word will be used against you.

We sang as children, “Oh, be careful little tongue what you say.” I am afraid that we sang this song in jest not realizing the power of the song. Your little tongue can indict you or vindicate God’s working in your life. You must understand even the words you speak that you consider idle words are not idle words to those listening to you. You must always have the mindset that every word you speak will be used against you someday, and those words you speak will either condemn or justify you. Let me give you several thoughts about words and their ramifications.

First, there is no such thing as an idle word. Every word spoken is a case that is being built against you or for you. Now, you must ask yourself if the words you are speaking will build a case to condemn you or justify you. People listen to words more intently than what you realize. Ladies, how many times have you said to your husband, “What did I just say,” and he told you everything you said? You realized at that moment that he did hear every word you said. Let me remind parents that your children hear every word you speak. Also, your friends, work partners, and casual relationships hear every word you speak and those words are building a case against you or for you.

Second, what you say in public will be used against you. Every pastor must be careful about what they say in the pulpit because every word spoken is being recorded by someone’s ear. Oh, one person may not remember all that you say while you are preaching, but everyone together has recorded all your words that you say in the pulpit; therefore, you must not be careless as you speak in the pulpit. Likewise, every word you say in a group setting will be used against you by those who hear you. You might consider yourself just a regular person that nobody cares about, but your words are being recorded in the minds of individuals, and those words are building a case for or against you.

Third, what you say in private can and likely will be used against you in public. Just because you ask someone not to tell anyone does not mean they will not tell someone; rather, they will likely tell someone else what they promised not to tell anyone. If you don't want what you say in private to be repeated, you would be wise never to say it. Just because someone promises not to repeat what you say does not mean they will keep your word. Often, what you say in private is broadcasted against you when you are under attack. Therefore, you would be wise to be as guarded with your words in private conversations as you are in public.

My friend, let me caution you to be careful with what you say on social media, in idle talk, or in private conversations. Always remember that your words are building a case against or for you. Therefore, be careful little tongue what you say.

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