You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 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. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

Matthew 12:34-36

The word our NIV has rendered “empty” in the above passage is translated in other passages as “idle” and “lazy”. Jesus refers to words that do no good work. First, let us pray that that description never applies to our speech! What work do our words do when they leave our hearts? Do they work good things, or evil?

But more to the context of Jesus’ usage here to rebuke those who were challenging his authority to teach the Word of God! They discredited the signs he did perform, claiming they were of the devil and demanded more, immediately following this passage. Their words were empty, lazy, unproductive. They did not glorify God or edify people.

“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Jesus family knows how to talk properly and make their words do a lot of good work. Let us see to it that we demonstrate that at every opportunity.

Ethan Kirl