Watch Your Words

Lou Lotz

READ : Psalm 15:1-5

O Lord . . . who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who . . . speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue. (vv. 1-3)

When Dorothy met the Scarecrow on the road to Oz, he bemoaned the fact that he had no brain. Dorothy says: “How can you talk if you have no brains?” The Scarecrow replies: “Why, lots of talk comes from people who have no brains.”

Sometimes we talk as though we have no brains—gossiping, slandering, saying unkind, untrue, harmful, hurtful things about other people, forgetting, as Jesus said, that “. . . on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter” (Matthew 12:36).

You and me, we have a lot of “careless words” to account for. Fortunately, it’s not too late to start over again. Whatever things in your life it may be too late for, starting over isn’t one of them. There is forgiveness for even the most egregious sinners. Forgiven by God, we get to begin anew, abandoning slander, gossip, and false witness, and speaking the truth in love. “Putting away falsehood,” says Ephesians, “let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors” (4:25). Today, before you open your mouth to speak, remember the old adage: “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it helpful?”


Lord, may my words be honest and kind, helpful, and healing.