Thursday, January 13, 2011

Watch Your Mouth: Why What We Say can be Harmful to Your Soul

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, ...Mt. 12:36

What we say has eternal consequences according to Jesus' teaching. The reason for such gravity in our speech is that the fruit of our lips finds their roots in our heart.

What we say and do is an expression of who we are. We often say actions speaks louder than words but words are very important in God's eye's nonetheless. So, does what we say reflect our citizenship in the Kingdom of God? If Jesus is the Lord of our hearts, do our words reflect his pruning?

Jesus' words above come towards the end of His teaching regarding a tree and its fruit. He states, "Either make the tree good and its fruit good or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Mt. 12:33-34) We are judged by our hearts and our tongue will reveal the type of fruit it produces.

We are exhorted to guard our hearts above all else, for our hearts determines the course of our life. (Prov. 4:23) What we think, fantasize, imagine or daydream may come out in ways that may hurt us, condemn us. It is no wonder that the early Israelites were to take the Law of God and bind them on their person. (Dt. 6:4-9) The point was that God’s commandments were to be established in our hearts, the source of our life. Putting God first in our hearts will bear fruit worthy of the Kingdom. When we let God’s Word abide in us through reflection and memorization we grower closer to the source of our life. So let us hold God and His Word in our hearts and bear fruit worthy of the Kingdom!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoke to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)

Fr. Allen