“… on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter” (verse 36).
In a popular book about near-death experiences, people reported on how they saw a review of their life — the cliched ‘life flashing before your eyes’.
The people who had momentarily died detailed every single encounter they had had with another human being throughout their life. They not only re-lived it, they were able to feel what the other person had felt. (1) In that life-review the near-dead person knew what others felt because of their words in that particular encounter.
You may be able to imagine how surprised some were to realize what they said actually affected other people, positively or negatively. We may not think how a gracious word or an angry outburst could affect someone else’s day — let alone their life.
A friend recently suggested to me that this is what they thought judgement day would be for us — to understand and feel fully what effect our words had on people around us.
God speaks a word of judgement, too. Yet God’s judgement is always about restoration. The judgement may very well pinch, at first. Yet the outcome is always acceptance into a restored relationship with ourselves, with others and with God.
May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable unto you, O Lord. Amen.
(1) Raymond A. Moody, “Life After Life”, HarperCollins, New York, 2000, p.55-65