A Moment With The Bible
The Pharisees were considered the most religious people of the day. The multitudes looked up to them as those who were strictly following the law of God in all its implications. However, as we learn from Matthew 23, their “righteousness” was only outward. They only appeared righteous, but inwardly they were “vipers” (12:33). In this text, Jesus proclaims that they are “evil” because their words were revealing what was in their heart. They spoke evil words, therefore their heart was full of “evil treasure.” A person who speaks good words does so out of the good treasure of their heart.
Jesus gives a warning that ought to cause each of us to tremble. On the day of judgment “people will give account for every careless word they speak.” How many times do we utter words that tear people down instead of building them up? How many times have we gossiped? How many times have we spoken words that bring shame on the name of Christ or do not reflect the true nature of a Christian? If we do not get forgiveness for these, one day we will give an account for what we have said.
Our words reveal what is truly in our heart and therefore it is by these words that we will either be justified or condemned. James said, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:27). It would be possible to never miss a church service, to sing and pray on a regular basis, and to lead others to Christ, but if we do not bridle our tongue, our religion is worthless. The use of the tongue is a serious matter. We must put a harness on it and keep it under control if we expect to be saved.