Your words: Justifying or Condemning?

Matthew 12:37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jesus spoke to the disciples in addressing the errors of the Pharisees that tried to entrap Him over healing a man on the sabbath. The religious elite accused Him of being possessed by a demon and healing in the name of a chief demon, which Jesus refuted by saying that if the devil casts out demons, his house is divided and cannot stand. Jesus then went on to say that a tree is known by the fruit it bears, for good trees can only produce good fruit and bad trees bad fruit. What a person says indicates the fruit they possess and produce for out of the what is in a person’s heart, the overflow of one’s mouth speaks.

What are your words saying about you? (Your thoughts and actions can be lumped together in this question, for they are all interrelated.) The terms Jesus used in this passage are legal terms: justification in the sense of being acquitted of a crime and deemed innocent and condemnation in the sense of being found guilty of committing the crime of which one is accused.

Jesus taught us that the mouth speaks from the overflow of what is in one’s heart. Do your words edify (build up), encourage, and equip people do the work of God and want to do the will of God, or are your words demeaning, destroying, and debilitating people thereby preventing them or causing them not to want to the will of God? The Bible teaches us that there is power of life and death in the tongue, even though the tongue is a blaze set on fire by hell! The tongue can cut sharply tearing people down in condemnation, or it can heal and give life to someone who may be hurting or needing a little encouragement.

The problem doesn’t lie within the tongue itself because it is just one of the many muscular organs that comprise our human body. It is no different than a pen or pencil in the hand of the writer. The words produced by the writing instrument flow out of the heart and mind of the author. Likewise, our tongue can only produce words that stem from and overflow from our heart and mind. We have the power to speak good or to speak evil. We don’t have the power to control the tongue, or we would be perfect people. However, IF we choose to let God be LORD, He will empower us through His Spirit to bridle that monster and beast we call tongue. Only He can do so when we submit it along with the rest of us to Him. In humility, our tongue can be brought into obedience by the Spirit of God.

Father, I have to admit that my tongue has been unruly and set on fire. The bad part is that I spoke things about people I care about while no one else was around but You and me. I must ask You to forgive me for the thoughts and words that grew within me and eventually emanated from my mouth. I truly fulfilled the prophecy that the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart. I am humbling my tongue and self and ask You to help me bring this monster under control and not tear down with it any longer but rather to build up others, speak courage into others, and help equip others to do kingdom work. I have been guilty of condemning words and not speaking justifying words. I don’t want to be condemn myself by saying the wrong things. Forgive me, please. I confess my sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.