“What you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” This familiar phrase is given to a person placed under arrest as part of a recitation known as the Miranda rights. In short, by making this brief statement, the officer is warning them to be careful what they speak because it could just be the thing that proves their guilt.
As I sat at my computer this morning and as is part of my routine I clicked on to facebook. In so doing I noticed various stories, some cute, some silly, and then some boarder lining on ridiculous. Then, one post from a believer in Christ brought concern and made me think of the words we throw out into cyber space, a never ending highway. The words I stated above listed in the Miranda rights came flooding into my mind! “The Bible speaks of our words”, I thought. “And they too will be used against us!”
In Matthew 12:35-37 Jesus said--
35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NKJV)
What is so important about the words we speak, and why in the end could they justify or condemn us?
I think if each of us sat for a moment and thought back on how words from others have affected us we could easily answer that question for ourselves. Some words spoken to us have brought great joy, while others cut deep like a knife. Much of the time it’s these latter words that continue to lie dormant deep inside until one day at the most inopportune time the hurt comes spewing out like toxic waste.
That’s why King Solomon wrote--
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (NKJV)
We must, as believers, choose our words carefully in order to edify not destroy. The word edify means—“to improve the morals or knowledge of somebody.” It is about building each other up!
The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans--
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”(NKJV)
Then again to the Thessalonians--
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (NKJV)
We are continually shown the path we are to take, a path of encouragement not discouragement—being helpers of one another not hinderers.
The writer of Hebrews gives us a great teaching on the functionality of believers toward each other--
“24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NKJV)
We have seen with our eyes, through scripture, how we must conduct ourselves as believers through our words and our actions. And, what a testimony it will be to the world as they witness the true love we have for each other.
So, when you have the urge to post on social media your most detailed personal feeling, or decide to rant about an individual and maybe even speak ill of a local church, remember the unbelieving are watching. Perhaps, prior to your rant they were considering coming to Jesus, but now they are not sure because believers seem fueled by hate as well!
Finally, remember the words of Paul--
2 Corinthians 3:2
“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men…” (NKJV)
May the Lord keep and bless you as you endeavor to love as Christ’ loves!
I love you all!