I have noticed recently that as a Christian, one can so very easily slip into using language that is not really language that Jesus wold use and this I reckon is because so often we are surrounded by those using “ripe” language at work so we “go native”. I am not judging our colleagues by saying this, but Jesus did tackle this subject and tackle it hard.
Christians can so easily start using “God” or “Jesus” or “Hell” and more in their language when at work … when “no one from Church is looking”.
Actually this language can become a habit and also creep in to every day life and into Church as well, so we do need to be very careful as we will see below.
Matthew 12 vs 33-37 says “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
This is a strong statement from Jesus! The fundamental question is: “How Christ-like is our speech?” This is just one area out of the whole of our behavior. We will be judged for every word, even the idle ones that we may just “let out” in a time of weakness or when joking around with friends or work mates. That is a pretty strict judgment.
Jesus speaks here in black-and-white terms. The tree (meaning the person) is either good—producing good fruit—or is bad and produces bad fruit. Which are we—the good or the bad tree?
In verse 34, He says, “Out of the abundance of the heart we speak”. Jesus says in Matthew 15 v 17-18 that it is not what goes into a person that defiles him, but what comes out of him. What comes out of a person will be either good things like service, love, kindness and other fruits of the Spirit or bad things, the works of the flesh, which He names there.
So, what will it be with us? What is the abundance of our heart?
This is vitally important because “by those words” we will either be justified or condemned. Our thoughts are just precursors to our speech (and action).
So, where do we stand in relation to this line that Jesus Christ our Savior, our High Priest and Judge, has drawn? Are we a good tree or a bad one?