“I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36 [See also Ephesians 4:29, 5:4.]
Here all corrupt communication, jesting, foolish talking, and whatever is not convenient and good to the use of edifying, are plainly forbidden. But who truly believes the purpose and the truth of these words?
- Surely the world does not believe them at all: this is quite plain, from that very common and shocking practice of reviling, lying, swearing, jesting, and talking all manner of filthiness.
- Even religious people do not sufficiently believe and consider these important subjects. How many heedless, slanderous, idle, and unprofitable words do they occasionally utter!
Be therefore careful, O my reader, to weigh every word and to make light of none. Whenever you are going to speak, let the questions be:
- “Is it needful to speak?”
- “Does it tend to the glory of God?”
- “Will it profit me or others?”
O Lord, grant that never an idle word may drop from my lips. Whenever I am to converse with others, give me grace first to converse with You by secret prayer. In all companies let Your presence be before my eyes. Let me always look upon You as the chief Person in the place and receive direction when and what I am to speak. May Your good Spirit always teach me and sanctify all my thoughts and words. O for grace to honor Jesus by every thought, every word, and every act!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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