We’re Accountable to God for Every Word

By Randy Alcorn July 15, 2020

Today’s blog is the fifth and final in a series about the importance and impact of our words. The following verses tell us a sobering truth: we are accountable to God for every word we speak (or type).

Here’s what Scripture has to say:

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken (Matthew 12:36).

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another (Romans 14:12).

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

What does this mean? It means no conversation, no social media comment, no text should be on autopilot. We need to ask for God’s guidance, wisdom, and empowerment so our words please Him and so we will not have to give account for careless words on the Day of Judgment.

Jon Bloom writes,

We Christians ought to be the most careful speakers in the world. We are to heed God’s words ourselves and communicate them to others with care, and we are to speak our words carefully since we will “give an account [to God] for every careless word [we] speak” (Matthew 12:36).

This whole talking business is a very serious business. It’s life-and-death serious: “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). I would think that anything this serious would naturally be a focus of my regular prayer. But as I’ve examined my prayer habits as it relates to my talking habits, I’ve noticed that I tend to only pray about what I say when I’m aware that a lot is at stake in what I say. But Jesus says a lot is at stake when I’m not aware and speaking carelessly: “for by [my] words [I] will be justified, and by [my] words [I] will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

What does that mean — that we’ll be justified or condemned by our words? It means our words will witness for or against us when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What comes out of our mouths (or through our fingers when we type) reveals what fills our hearts. Our words reveal whether or not we truly have a “fear of the Lord” that “keep[s] [our] tongue from evil” (Psalm 34:11–13).

(Read the rest of his article How to Pray about What You Say.)

Finally (and this is in relation not only to this blog but to the previous four), recognizing our accountability to God, may we pray with the psalmist, “LORD, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Photo by Fa Barboza on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries