Words. I love words. I love creating a picture with words. I love writing and speaking words as much as a painter loves her color pallet or a photographer loves the images created through a lens. Words have power over our lives like nothing else I know because we all use them. Words evoke reactions and emotions from the author/speaker as well as the reader/receiver. They can encourage, love, give life and freedom as quickly as they can discourage, hate, kill and enslave.
We cannot control the words that come at us but we can control what words come out of us. How? It's all a matter of the heart. "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings things out of the evil stored up in him." (Matthew 12: 34-35). Whatever we hold in our heart cannot be contained and hidden but will spill out of our mouths. We can try to contain ourselves, control our words but in the heat of the moment eventually what we really think spills out. Our words, cultivated by the soil of our hearts, reveal the truth of everything we believe.
We've all said words we've regretted. You know, those times when you heard something horrible coming out of your mouth and cringe, reaching out, wishing you could stuff the words back in your mouth before the listener's ears heard them. Jesus warns us about careless words in the next two verses. "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12: 36-37). That's powerful!
Jesus was addressing the Parisees whose carefully crafted words were spoken as an attempt to entrap Jesus in a snare of trick questions. Jesus was warning them that they would be judged by their words because words reveal the character of their hearts. So too with our words.
If our hearts are filled with the goodness that flows from a relationship with Christ, who is the ultimate lover of our souls, then the words we speak will naturally be good, full of life and a reflection of Him.