Today, I was listening to Alistair Begg preach a sermon on James 1:26.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
He made many good points, but there was one in particular that I really liked and I found convicting. As Christians, we often need to look out for the truth that we speak even more than the lies. Of course, all of us have lied at one time or another, but once we come to Christ, we generally try our best not to tell lies. We will, however, “speak the truth in love.” Is it really love that we are speaking that truth in, or are we using the cover of truth to say things about others that we should not be saying? We slip in gossip in the form of prayer requests, concern for others, and more, I’m sure. Alistair gave a great quote:
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
We need to think about what our motive really is before we speak. My husband has a great way of thinking about choosing our words carefully. I don’t recall his quote exactly, but it’s something like this: Does it make me look good? Does it make someone else look bad?
However, Alistair also makes the point, that what comes out of our mouth isn’t our only concern. We will be judges for our thoughts and our motives, as well. I tend to be quiet, and so I often feel kind of “safe” in this area. That’s not to say that I don’t trip up with my words. I do and I do it more often than I would like to admit. My struggle tends to be more with the thoughts that go through my head. Though the people around me may not know my rotten thoughts, God does and He will hold me accountable for those. Also, Jesus says in Luke 6:45,
…for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Eventually, even a quiet person will speak what is truly in his/her heart. It is my prayer that He would continually cleanse my heart from all the wicked “truth” that I think upon and would fill up my mind with thoughts of Him — His creation, His gift, His glory, His grace, His mercy, His holiness, His love.