“By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37
The general turn of a man’s discourse will clearly reveal the bent of his mind, for, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Other outward marks may be imitated, but not to offend in tongue. To be free from detraction and boasting, to speak the truth in love, to “let no corrupt communication” (nothing contrary to peace and holiness) “proceed out of the mouth”: this is the finger of God. Here the hypocrite and formalist always fail. Let us earnestly pray for grace to bridle the tongue.
“O Lord, set a guard before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips,” that I may never bring reproach upon my profession by speaking proud, false, foolish, or censorious words. Deeply sanctify my heart, that out of the good treasure of my heart I may bring forth good things. My justification before God is by the perfect work of Jesus; but before man as a professed saint, by my words I shall be justified, and by my words I shall be condemned. If the tongue denies Jesus, the heart cannot be right; and if the lips habitually utter folly, the soul must be depraved. O for grace to guard the tongue!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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