Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
My mom was driving through a construction zone while complaining to God about the caution cones that were diverting traffic because lines were being painted on the new road work. She then heard in her spirit the Lord say, “You sure have a lot of opinions!” She repented and thanked God for the road workers doing their job to make the roads safe. I smiled when she shared this with me because I immediately thought of the Matthew 12:36-37 scripture verses that teach we will be judged for all those idle and careless opinions we put into words. We need to remember that with the amount of judgment we give out in opinions, the same amount of judgment will be used on us. This thought sure makes a person want to rethink before they express another opinion.
We read throughout scripture God challenges people for the things they have said out of turn. Job was confronted by God when asked if he had the answers to God’s questions. Hey Job, here is a simple science question for you. Job 38:31 Can you tie up the chains of the Pleiades, Or untie the cords of Orion? Tell me Job, since you think you know about righteousness and how you believe heaven should work, what is your all-knowing opinion on this? Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? At this point, I’m sure Job was feeling outside his ability to understand the basics of keeping up with God. Job eventually answers with a repentative heart. Job 42:3b Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Good answer Job, and his answer might be the one we want to adopt when we feel we need to have an opinion on everything there is under the sun.
When God confronted the leadership of Israel concerning the sophistry they were engaged in, God said straight up what the priests and leaders were saying concerning God. Mal. 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied Him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?” Throughout the book of Malachi, God confronts all the accusatory opinions that are flying around without thought. The fact that the people were accusing God of malicious intent shows us what can happen when we no longer control our conversations with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. How do we get to a place where we are saying,” All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them.” We get there by shooting off our mouths without thought of consequences and believing everything we think and say, other people want to hear. We get there when pride is sitting on the throne of our hearts.
Elijah was living with a wrong opinion concerning himself, and the dire situation Israel was in. Because of the evil influence Jezebel had on the nation, Elijah was convinced he was the only one in Israel who was sold out for God, and that he was the only one serving God faithfully. 1Kings 19:14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” God had to point out that Elijah was in error. Many were serving God. 1Kings 19:18 Nevertheless, I have reserved seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” When we are involved in ministry it is very easy to have a lot of opinions about everything. However, like Elijah, we need to come down to earth and realize that God is way bigger than our thoughts and opinions which can be skewed when we become solipsistic and opinionated.
God is not asking us to take a vow of silence or never to say anything wrong that can be judged. He is admonishing us to think before we spew out a word salad of nonsense upon the unsuspecting public. The Lord wants us to stop judging harshly and using hurtful and malicious words of judgment. Col. 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. The world is full of gainsayers who criticize and argue for the sake of arguing. We are not to be like these people but rather have the grace in our speech to help anyone change their hearts toward God. Titus.1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
We who are in Christ, are of a different spirit and need to realize that we are the only Bible some people will ever get to read. 2Cor. 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men, 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. When we speak, does our inflated opinion come busting through or does the love and kindness of Christ come out of our hearts? The choice to speak wisely is always the right choice. We all have a lot of opinions. Let’s keep them under our hats until God asks for them.