36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Since writing my last article on Matthew 12:34b, I’ve been paying closer attention to my conversations and especially to the things I find myself talking about to myself when I am alone or with my close friends (Yes, I do talk to myself. However, I don’t listen to myself very well because it’s difficult to talk and listen at the same time.). The difficult truth to accept in Matthew 12:34b is that our conversations, the things we talk about and don’t talk about, reveal the condition of our hearts. Just as vomit reveals what’s in your stomach, your words reveal what’s in your heart. (I know that’s gross but I thought it was a good analogy.)
According to Jesus, our words so definitively reveal the state of our hearts that on the Day of Judgment our words will be used to either justify or condemn us. At that time, all of our conversations, the things we whispered under our breath, screamed out at the top of our lungs or simply discussed day-in and day-out, will all be replayed back for us and it will show us what we truly believed about God, this world and ourselves.
If the bulk of our conversations with others are about insignificant issues, then it tells us that our hearts (our thoughts, desires, remembrances) are focused on insignificant things. We might respond and say, “No, that’s not true. In my heart of hearts I care about significant things even though I may not talk about them.” But the truth is that what you “say” is what you get. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
How do you respond to these words of Jesus? Are you encouraged by them? Discouraged? Offended? Do you feel resistant to them? However you react to these words of our Savior, they are not meant to incriminate you but to deliver you. For Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world but he came in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17).
Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:36-37 were meant to be heard and received as a loving and merciful admonishment spoken to us before it’s too late. Today we can face the true condition of our souls if we are willing to sincerely examine the words that come out of our mouths. If we find that the condition of our hearts is in need of His mercy, we can seek Him today for His forgiveness and cleansing of our weaknesses and sins. There is no need to wait until Judgment Day to find out the true condition of our hearts.