March 8, 2012

Matthew 12:33-37

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NIV)

When James tells us we should be "quick to listen, slow to speak" (1:19) he is reminding us that our words matter. I'm sure there are plenty of recent examples we can come up with where words have caused hurt and pain, many of which are, as Jesus describes, "empty."

As we continue our journey through Lent, are there empty words you need to seek forgiveness for? What might happen in your relationships at work, school, home if you were to be a little quicker to listen and maybe a little slower to speak?

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?