It was the night Jesus was arrested. Prior to this moment Jesus told Peter in a personal conversation that Peter would deny him three times before the cock crowed. As Peter wrestled in anguish as he watched what was taking place with Jesus, he was accused of being “one of them,” which he vehemently denied. Matthew records it in Matthew 26:73-74 that the crowd recognized Peter, because his speech gave him away. It is obvious they were referring to his accent which was noticeably different than those from the area. King James wrote it in a little different way, he said they told Peter that his speech “betrays” him.
Often when I think about the power of words, especially as I attempt to express myself to others, does my speech mark me as one belonging to Jesus, or does it betray me? Recently, I read an interesting statement. I don’t agree with it by any means, and I’m only repeating it here because I believe it truly represents the thinking of those in the world. It said, ”Anything worth saying, is said better with cuss words.” That is the mindset expected of those in darkness, because they are unaware of the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36-37, when he said “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Words not only have power, but they also define our hearts. James provides this stinging reminder in James 1:26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. The reason James said this is found in chapter 3:8-10, “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” Lastly, Proverbs 10:11 reminds us, “the mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
As we enter the homes of our neighbors in a couple of weeks during Mission Possible, let us be mindful of our words, and let them bring life to our homeowners and glorify our heavenly father. Blessings.