Words Matter for Good and Bad

Matthew 12:36-37

Bless your life with your words.

There are passages in the Bible that a lifelong Baptist struggles to read. Today’s verses would be one of those passages. Read it. (If you haven’t discovered this, you can hover your mouse over the reference to have it pop up.) Do you see what I’m talking about?

By your words you will be justified? Haven’t we been taught since slightly before birth that we are justified by faith alone? And wouldn’t words fall into the category of works?  So how is it that we are justified by our words?

It would take a more profound theologian than me to completely plumb the depths of this issue, but a piece of Simon Peter’s story pops in my mind to provide some clarity. We all know that when Jesus was arrested, Peter three times denied knowing Jesus.

Did Peter lose his salvation at that point? No, but was it important? Yes. After the resurrection, Jesus three times asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Did Peter gain back the salvation he hadn’t lost by virtue of his good answers? No, but was it important that he spoke those words? Yes.

What if, in the wake of his Christ-denying failure, Peter had simply withdrawn from the group? Would we have heard about him preaching on Pentecost? Would we have epistles bearing his name? I rather think Peter would have turned into a shriveled up, bitter man.

Words matter, for better and for worse.

  • Think of a time when you have said something that was clearly the wrong thing. What effect did it have?
  • Think of a case when you failed to save something that was clearly the right thing. Did that make a difference?
  • Start the good words flowing from yourself through your prayers in the coming week, blessing God and aligning your will with His.