v 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
This is one of the occasions where Jesus comes across very strong as he speaks to the Pharisees. Inasmuch as our words and actions mirror our inner condition they form the basis for God’s judgment verdict. So here is another question we might well ask ourselves – ‘What does God think about what I have said?’ An actor is very concerned about how he comes across to an audience, and a preacher might well think about he comes across to a congregation, but we all stand in front of an audience of one when it comes to speaking. And it is not the person to whom we are speaking, it is our heavenly father who listens in to every conversation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few personal conversations that give me pause for thought when I realise that God was in on it too! The fact is that love may well have been ousted by harsh criticism and a judgemental attitude, or by insensitivity and a failure to understand where a person was coming from. Forget, if we can, what my listener thought of it, but what might God’s verdict have been?
Thoughtful, loving, considerate conversations form the basis of sound relationships; learning to control the tongue is fundamental aspect of Christian living and one we all have to work at.