Idle Words

“…you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” Matthew 12:36
Every word? Uh-oh. We’re in trouble. Words are like helium balloons released into the sky. We can’t catch them again. We can’t undo them, either. Ugly ones hang there in the air like a foul stench. Sometimes the moment they leave our lips, we wish we’d never said them, but there they are. In this verse, Jesus reminds us that every word counts. He is reminding us that even if no one else hears, God does, and we will answer to Him.

Let’s fast forward to that day. We are lined up, dressed in white robes, ready for our lives to be displayed on a theater screen as big as Pluto. The Lord Himself, high and lifted up, is seated on a massive white throne just in front of us. Now it’s your turn. The screen flashes to images of you as a child, screaming at your sister, then as a teenager lying to your mother. You’re overwhelmed by all the foul words, cruel words, foolish and deceitful words that have poured from your lips. Your heart sinks as shame washes over you. Then Jesus steps forward. He lifts a hand and the screen goes black. You look at that hand, still torn and dark in the center where it was savaged by a Roman spike. “I remember those words,” He whispers. “When I was on the cross, they scorched my brain. I paid for them so you wouldn’t have to. You’ve asked me to forgive you, and so I did. I love you. You’re free to go.” He smiles and winks, and in that moment you’d do anything to have listened when He warned you.
 If your words were broadcast on Heaven’s giant screen, how would you feel? Now is the time to change that.

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