When it comes to the “finger-pointing”, you may recall hearing a rather old piece of advice given. It goes something like this: when you point your finger accusingly at someone, just remember that there are three other fingers pointing back at you. It’s too bad that we forget this rather good grade-school advice as we get older.
More and more the media is full of scathing and bitter complaints. From political campaigns to the tabloid covers, everyone has an opinion. While it may seem like facts, it is often a few select facts strung together in a tantalizing way to create a desired perception, good or bad. It is rarely a whole truth.
Jesus had a few select words to say on this subject himself;
“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
I don’t know about you, but this word from Jesus makes me think twice about what I say. What we often miss about Jesus’ counsel, is that the words that we speak will become the judgments that we will face on the last day.
“By your standard of measure it will be measured to you;” Mark 4:24
Here’s the thing we need to realize: what we accuse others of is often the very issue we need to address in our own heart. Just like those three fingers pointing back at you, the accusations we level are often indictments against our own prejudices and unforgiven hurts. Jesus tells us that our words will either approve the good things in our heart, or expose through accusation the judgment that we are holding onto.
God is so good, that he’s sending us a warning about the consequences of our words. He wants us to see the things in our own heart that need help and healing. His tender mercy is available, to help us forgive, to release the grievance, to speak life and not harm. In the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs 13:2 puts it this way: “A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth.” Ultimately, the Father’s plan for us is to be blessed and bless others by our words.
God is setting His finger on the problem. Listen to your words. Within our speech is the keys to life and death for our own soul. Let’s choose to speak life.