Solomon said, “The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” (Proverbs 15:28 NLT). Jesus said, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.” (Matthew 12:34b-35 NLT). Unfortunately, we live in a world were vicious accusations, assumptions and speculations fly back and forth between people, even people in high places. Even those in high places in society, business, politics, entertainment, etc. often succumb to the temptation to use vulgarity or harshness. The constant diet of these words is like poisoned candy. It may taste sweet to consume, but in the end, it makes one sick in one’s soul.
People cry out for more civility while at the same time criticizing others for their incivility. The person who criticizes may think he or she is “more righteous” and able to sit in judgment on the other, but if he or she uses vulgarity, slander or lies, those words betray the wickedness in his or her own heart as well. If we return evil for evil how can we prove we are any different from those we are criticizing?
We can’t control how others use their words, but by the grace of and the Spirit of God we can ask Christ to search the deepest recesses of our own hearts to purify us to the core of our being. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:4, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” (NLT). Let us ask God to search us and know us and cleanse out any of this poison he finds in us. Let us follow Christ and use our words to forgive, heal, fix broken relationships, and strengthen one another. Let us do it in the power of the Spirit of Christ that we may shine like lights in a world filled with darkness.