God values our heart intent and motives.
Our Words are a Reflection of Our Heart Condition
Jesus' statement reveals that our words will be considered in rendering judgment on us because they accurately reflect the condition of our hearts. The church is presently under the inspection of the kingly bridegroom who will gather out of his kingdom "all things that offend." Therefore, we must carefully consider the principles upon which this judgment is made. Although the church has a special judgment along this line, the striking examples from the current political world provides one more evidence that the Lord's work of developing His kingdom is nearing completion.
Oddly enough, the leaders of our day employ the principle of our Lord's words where it suits them. Publicly, their words and often carefully weighed and if their position permits, they employ one or more capable speechwriters to make them sound appealing. This is simply meant to present their words in the best possible way. The shock comes if and when we find their words only mask the true sentiments of their hearts.
Keep Your Heart With Diligence
The Lord offers advice to His people. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you" (Proverbs 4:23-24). This clearly shows that the right heart condition is essential before our words can be acceptable in God's sight. Certainly, every Christian has found this to be true. It is easy to understand why the Lord uses our words as a basis for judgment. While it is true that pleasant words may mask a heart's evil intent for a while, sooner or later the mask will drop away. This occurs as soon as selfish policy renders a change of tactics necessary.
The Christian's first concern then should be for our hearts. They should be under the control of divine grace. Every principle of truth and righteousness should be enthroned there. Justice, love, mercy, faith, and humility should accompany supreme reverence for God and Christ. A fervent love for all the beauties of holiness, should be a firmly fixed principle that govern our lives. If these principles are fixed in the heart, the mouth will speak words of truth, soberness, wisdom, and grace.
Jesus, Our Perfect Example
Consider Jesus, whose heart was perfect- in whom was no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth- "All bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luke 4:22). So wise, just, and true were the Lord's words, that, though his enemies were continually seeking to find some fault, it is said, "never spake a man like this man" (John 7:46). If the remarkable electronic bugs of today had been attached to our Lord so we could hear his every word, how we would be inspired and see the depth of his character and devotion to God.
Our Lord left a worthy example. Our privilege is to follow Him to the limits of our abilities. The Apostle Paul urges this course saying, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt" (Col. 4:6). "Grace" indicates words that express love and kindness. Salt describes the uplifting and preservative qualities that should accompany our words. Salt is never bitter or sour but adds a pleasant taste to food. The Apostle Peter adds, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11). And finally, Ecclesiastes admonishes us to, "be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy mouth be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth, therefore let thy words be few" (Eccl. 5:2).
Let our words always reflect deep heart appreciation in a way that would honor God.