People will give account for every careless word they speak - Matthew 12:36b (ESV)
Do you ever learn anything from your dreams? Stella’s been having some very bad dreams, dreams in which her poisonous tongue kept saying very bad things. Things got so bad that she eventually cried her self to sleep in her dream.
As Stella lay asleep on the floor, her brother Harold could be overheard asking their Dad if she was going to be okay. “I hope so,” he responded, “But she did get a nasty looking bump on her head when she fell on the floor. We might have to call an ambulance if she doesn’t wake up soon.”
“What in the world caused her to faint like that Dad?” asked Harold. “Do you think she fainted because she saw my clean room?” “It’s possible,” his dad said, “It’s been over two years since you last cleaned it.” After a few more minutes had passed by Stella suddenly started rolling around on the floor screaming “No! No! No! I am a Christian, I am a Christian”
A soon as they heard Stella, Harold rushed over to her side and asked her if she was okay. Stella’s response made her brother and her dad think that something was dreadfully wrong. First she told Harold that she loved him and thought he was the best brother in the world, and than she told her Dad it was okay if he wanted to spank her just as long he would never leave her.
“Are you sure you’re okay,” they asked again. Than Stella told them all about her dream. “It was terrible.” she said, “First I lost Bernadette, she said she wouldn’t be my best friend anymore because I was talking mean. Than dad and mom left me because I was being sassy and said I knew what I was doing. Than I made a fool of myself yelling at somebody I thought I knew. Oh, it was terrible. I’m glad it wasn’t real.”
Once they knew Stella was okay for certain, Harold went to tell Bernadette that all was well and Bill went to find Martha and tell her that she was feeling okay. Stella looked up and started talking to God. “God,” she said, “I know you can hear me. I’m sorry for not acting like a Christian, even if it was a dream. Help me to control my tongue so I don’t say things I shouldn’t. In Jesus’ name, Amen. P.S. I love you too.”
Stella has learned that she needs to be careful with what she says, but she’s not the only one who needs to be careful, we all do.
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Matthew 12:36-37 (ESV)
In each of Stella's adventures in the Dream Zone she let her tongue get the best of her and in each of her adventures her tongue got her further into trouble, What a shame it is when we let our tongues behave in such a manner. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. - James 3:9-10 (NCV)
Like Stella, we may think of ourselves as Christian but the Bible has a stern reminder to those who let their tongue ramble uncontrolled. Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself. - James 1:26 (TEV)
Sometimes, we may not see the results of a loose tongue for years. Consider the following I came across in my Bible Illustrator.
An elderly gentleman related that when he was a young man he was on one occasion out with a party camping. They were mostly young fellows, but one or two were middle-aged men. One evening as they sat around the fire, a story that one of the older men told suggested to the gentleman a vulgar comment, to which he gave utterance before he thought twice. He could have bitten his tongue off the next instant. The older man simply looked straight at him for a moment across the fire, and he knew that he was judged by that remark. After a year or two had passed the young man's name was mentioned for a position which was very desirable and which he seemed likely to secure, but the man who had been disgusted at his vulgar comment was one of the three to decide it, and at his suggestion the young man was defeated. He afterward found other work, but he regretted as long as he lived giving utterance to that one vulgar, impure comment.
The next time you're tempted to let your tongue go on a rampage remember these verses.
- Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives, but whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined. - Proverbs 13:3 (NCV)
- Those who are careful about what they say keep themselves out of trouble. - Proverbs 21:23 (NCV)
- For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. - 1 Peter 3:10 (NIV)
Here's Something to Ponder
- Do I think about what I say before I say it
- Do I make sure what I say is worthy to be said