My dad used to say, “You can’t have it both ways.” And indeed you can’t; you have to make a decision and live with the consequences. Jesus applied this to the words we choose. Either they will be good, healthy, uplifting words or they will be bad, degrading, hurtful words. The former will justify us; the latter will condemn us. (Jesus wasn’t a Lutheran, I guess.)
We all know folks whose words drip honey. They are all smiles when they see you, asking about family and health-really concerned and loving. But get these folks alone, where nobody else can hear them, and the honey sours. Oh, the words are not vulgar in and of themselves, but their intent is just plain ugly. In light of today’s reading, these folks seem to want to have it both ways.
Jesus challenges us to let the words we use reflect the true state of our heart. As both saint and sinner, there will be times when our words are not edifying. So we confess our sin and strive to walk-and talk-as children of the light. It appears that our choice of words is a barometer of our heart’s condition.
Lord Jesus, thank you for cleansing me from sin. May my words reflect the redeemed state of my heart. Always. Amen. — DAB