Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Matthew 12:33-37 (NIV)
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In addition to Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus gave additional teachings on plain speech in Matthew 12. Here he first explains that it is the overflowing of our sinful hearts that makes us speak falsely. Jesus marks “every empty word” for special judgment. Take time to identify your ‘empty words’. These include rationalizations for our actions, gossip and bad-mouthing others, especially when we do nothing to actually help the situation, and any words that waste time.