Pastor Robert continues the series, Words: Life or Death, by unlocking three truths about words: they cost, they have the power to hurt or heal and they last.
In Matthew 12:33–37, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about words. He used an analogy to explain how our hearts are like trees that produce fruit that is either good or bad. The fruit of our heart is our words, and our words reveal what is in our hearts.
The truth is that words cost us something. While we can be thankful we live in a country where we have the right to freedom of speech, we shouldn’t confuse that freedom with the lie that words are free. We’re accountable to God for every word we speak (Matthew 12:36–37). If we speak words that hurt someone, it will cost us something in that relationship. The good news is that our words can also be an investment in someone that builds them up instead of tearing them down.
Another truth is that words hurt. Sometimes we disguise our hurtful words by saying we’re only joking, but it still hurts. There is some truth in what we say because our mouths speak from what is in our hearts (Proverbs 26:18–19). When evil words come out of our mouths, it’s an opportunity to examine our hearts. We can confess to God that our hearts need cleansing. We can ask Him to show us what is at the root of our words and how we should deal with it. We can repent and ask forgiveness. The good news is that forgiveness heals the hurtful words we speak and the hurtful words spoken to us. Words hurt, but they can also heal.
It’s also true that words last. They do not evaporate. Our hurtful words can add to the wounds a person already has and stay with them a long time. In a marriage, words said in arguments can eventually destroy the relationship. The good news is that good words also last—especially our prayers. Our prayers stand before God in heaven, sometimes for years, until He answers them at His perfect time (2 Timothy 1:3, 5).