We've had a lot of fun in our family with some of the tapes I made when the kids were little. I can hear what they sounded like before they had much of a vocabulary - before their voices changed. It's special memories. So is the tape of our wedding over 30 years ago, it's always a pretty tender time when my wife and I sit and listen to the day we made our lifetime vows to each other. Happy tapes - and then, there was President Richard Nixon - not happy tapes.
The Watergate accusations flew back and forth without making any fatal damage until an aid testified that the President had tapes of his oval office conversations. There was a big legal battle over releasing those tapes, but, eventually the world heard the not very pretty things that were said behind closed doors. I wonder if President Nixon just forgot sometimes that the recorder was running, or if he thought none would ever hear what he was saying. Well, he was wrong.
Well I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I'd like to have A Word With You today about "Talk Is Not Cheap."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 12:34. Jesus said, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." This is pretty sobering stuff, I mean, you show what your heart is full of by your words and then He says the divine tape recorder is always running. When you're on the phone, when you're angry, when you're whispering, when you're talking behind someone's back, when you think none heard it - the tape is rolling. And one day the tape will be played back in the presence of the living God. You talk about being without defense, there it is, listen to you saying it man.
You see, words really do matter. By your words you show what's in your heart. By your words you will be acquitted. By your words you will be condemned. Our words will be there to meet us when we stand before God. Encouraging words, God praising words, Christ sharing words, loving words - but also our careless words, our dirty words, our hurting words, our backstabbing words, our angry words, our lying words. If our words will be the measure of our judgment there are some steps we need to be taking now!
First, we need to realize that we don't stand a chance before God's judgment without a Savior. There are just too many words that have done too much damage. They're objective proof of the darkness that has been inside of us called sin. And God's one and only Son died to pay the death penalty for all that wrongdoing. If you'll put all your trust in Him to be your personal sin-rescuer today, you'll be forgiven once and for all. But beyond that we need to listen to ourselves - to ask God to help us hear what He hears in our words. It's time we join David in his prayer, "Lord set a guard over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips." Ultimately the weight of our words should cause us to make Jesus Christ Lord of our tongue. Every new day, maybe every hour. If we can win this words battle, we can win anything. But it will take the control of Jesus Christ himself to tame a runaway tongue. No, talk is not cheap. It can be very expensive. The President of the United States was ultimately judged by his own words. We will be too.