April 3

Text: Matthew 12:35-37

 "The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil.  And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned." (NASB)

A powerful temptation to all is to prove that we are good people by comparing ourselves to other people.  A common statement we make in some form is, “I have my flaws, but I do not do that!”  In that way we verify to ourselves that we are good persons because we do not do something that others do.  Thus the behavior of others proves to me that I am good.

I have spent much of my life seeking to encourage and help abused people and people in recovery.  Among the many lessons I have learned from such experiences is this: behind every struggle there is a reason.   People who struggle to restore themselves often exert greater effort and show greater courage than I ever made or exhibited.  For me to “justify myself” on the basis of their struggles is discouraging to them and insulting to God.

We need ways to measure ourselves by our own behaviors.  Few things are as accurate a gauge for such self-examinations as our words.  Our words declare what is in our hearts.  It is what is in our hearts that makes us good or evil.  Comparisons to other people do not make us good or evil.

We can gauge our inner treasures by our words because “the mouth speaks out of what fills the heart.”    Our words matter to God!  They matter more than just the way they affect other people!  What we say—even in private—reveals who we are internally!  We are accountable to God for every useless word.

Because what we say reveals our internal values, our words justify or condemn us.  What we say is a powerful measurement for self-evaluation.  What a challenge!  How much attention do we need to give to what we say in every context?

Suggestion for reflection: Why is it difficult to pay attention to what we say?  (Read Proverbs 10:19-24.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell