August 29, 2021
Every Idle Word
With Bishop Ronald K. Powell
Matthew 12:36 King James Version
36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Luke 12:3, “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
Isn’t it amazing how little we regard the sins of speech?
An angry word uttered in the heat of the moment, an insinuation is made, perhaps a thoughtless swearword is spoken, or the passing on of some little morsel of gossip. Too often we consider these to be inconsequential at the time, and then later we regret what has been said. God doesn’t take such a casual attitude toward these sins.
I-What is an Idle Word?
- It is one that is spoken without being thought through.
- Literally it means ‘free from work’.
- Jas. 2:20, “Faith without works is dead”.
- 2Pe. 1:8, “…that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful…”
- From these examples of the use of the word translated “idle” we can draw that an ‘idle’ word is one that hasn’t been worked over, or one that is unfruitful.
Note the context of Mt. 12:36
- Jesus healed a man in v22 who was possessed with a devil and all the people were amazed.
When the Pharisees saw it they responded by accusing Jesus of performing this miracle by the power of Satan.
It was an idle charge thrown out in the heat of controversy. 4. Jesus proved that it had no validity in the next few verses.
So the warning is about making statements without thinking them through.
Someone has put it this way, “Be careful not to start mouth without making sure the brain is engaged.”
Pr. 10:19, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
Jas. 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
Many things are opened by mistake, but none so frequently as the mouth.
II- What is so serious about idle words?
- Idle words detracts from a wonderful gift of God.
- Of all earthly creations, man alone has the full gift of speech.
III. Accountability for Idle Words.
- God has been recording since Creation.
- We think of recording machines as being recent technology, but God has been doing it for a long time.
- Job cried out, “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!” cf Job 19:23
- Job’s words are recorded, and so are ours.
- Someone might think, “That’s a lot of books!” Not really, we have CD-ROM’s that have multiple volumes of encyclopedias on one 3 1/2 in disk.
- One day the books will be opened.
- Re. 20:12, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
- Are we ready for that? “…Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.”
- Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” cf 1Co. 11:31
- Oh how we ought to pray as David did in Ps 141:3, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”
Nothing will change anything that we have previously said, but sin can be confessed, repented of, and forgiven. We can do something about what we may say in the future.