For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.” 1 Peter 3:10 (NIV)
Growing up, as a young Christian, I remember taking the scripture spoken by Jesus in Matthew 12:26 very seriously. The verse says, “But I tell you that everyone will give an account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
Because of that I tried not to gossip or slander others. In high school I remember one of my friends telling me that I was the only person she knew who didn’t gossip. I don’t say this to build myself up, because I am sure I have fallen short in this area at times.
We live in a world where people are inclined to give their opinions about any topic or person at any time or any place. It seems that we are becoming a boundaryless society as we daily peer into the personal lives of those we barely know on social media, sharing our own lives as well.
As Christians, we are called to a higher standard … a standard so high that we are told by Christ we will give an account for every empty or idle word we have spoken.
The word “empty” is described as vain, futile, worthless, or meaningless. The opposite of that would be to speak words full of meaning and purpose … words to build each other up instead of tearing others down.
My grandparents’ generation seemed to speak less … measure their words more. They lived by the mantra “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
There was an understood code of ethics to preserve the dignity of others. Older persons were spoken to with respect, valued for their wisdom, and treated with dignity.
We can’t control the direction of today’s society. But, as Christians, we can choose to walk a different way. Let’s choose a higher standard as we measure our speech and take responsibility for all of our words.