Why are words so important? Does it really matter what we say?
Jesus explained why they do matter, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).
So what exactly is an empty word? “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
Ephesians 5:4 goes on to explain in more detail, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of character, but rather thanksgiving.”
Even if we have spoken empty words in the past, going forward we can commit to choosing our words carefully. As Colossians 4:6 encourages, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Like David, we can commit our words to God. “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).