“I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
I have always found the above quote to be quite unsettling. It is one I prefer to put far out of my mind. First of all, I don’t really like to be held accountable, and second, if I am held accountable for some of my words, I am in big trouble. It means change, growth, and self-control, all of which are often hard to go through or attain. It means work on my part. It means honest critique of myself. It means biting my tongue!
I can honestly say that I don’t use words that are offensive to God, but I can’t say that I never say things that aren’t offensive to Him. In fact, I often do. I speak of others or their actions in ways that I think vindicate myself and my position on things, when in actuality it makes them look bad or wrong so that I can appear good or right. The truth is, it only makes me look bad.
We all have habits that we tend to ignore because they mean work to fix. However, if we really believed they meant the difference between heaven and hell, I am certain we would change them. Hopefully, we don’t wait until it is too late. If our words will be our justification before God, I have a lot of work to do if I don’t want them to also be my condemnation! I have chosen to write this verse down on a sticky note and place it on the dashboard of my car to serve as a reminder before I open the car door and enter the world. Instead of shoving the verse from Matthew out of my mind, I intend to work even harder at keeping it in the forefront.
During Mass each Sunday at the presenting of the Gospel, the faithful trace the sign of the cross with on their forehead, their lips and their heart, saying, “Christ in my thoughts, Christ from my lips, Christ in my heart.” May it be so with me, and with all of you this day.