“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36)
If you are as most who witness to the lost on a fairly regular basis, you, for lack of a better phrase, feel bad when you have had a conversation with someone and not once did you mention anything related to Scriptures. Those “I wish I would have” moments are quite grievous when they are recalled.
This is only conjecture on my part, but if you live to the age of 67, I do not believe your accounting to the Lord is going to take 67 years, and you must remember this, all of your sins, past, present and future were paid for in full by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, so on that day of accounting you will not be discussing them, but you one of the things you and He will discuss will be those idle words.
I do not believe that any of us can say with any sense of surety just what an idle word is, but I do believe they are those that did not glorify God. Perhaps in part those ones you spoke to that individual in idle banter, the weather, the things of the world, all but the Lord and His love for them. Perhaps those times that you took your relationship with the Lord a little too frivolously, as if He was just your good buddy, a little more personal than the servant-master relationship should be. I am sure that you can think of finer definitions of those idle words than this simple writer of letters can, but the point is this, you will indeed give an account for them, you will explain to the Lord just what it was you said and why.
We gain rewards and we can lose rewards based on our lives, our efforts for Christ in this life, I do not know if the Almighty will show you those rewards you could have had, or those you lost, but it would not surprise me. “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41)
Our actions and inactions, our words, both spoken and left unspoken, these are the deeds we will be rewarded for, will not be rewarded for, and will in some cases lose rewards over.
I learned at a very young age that words are perhaps the most powerful weapon on the planet. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:6) “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matt. 15:11)
Ask yourself this, if you claim to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and yet do not speak of Him to others, what proof is there of your salvation? If you say you serve Him, yet your words betray that service with everything but His love for others, the words of Scripture, the truths of the Holy Bible, how many idle words do you suppose you will be held accountable for?
How are people to know you are a Christian if you speak about everything but Christ?
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” (Eph. 4:11) You have been sent into the world to give the message, even if you were only saved by His grace yesterday.
Remember, these are the saved that this letter is concerned with, the wicked will do the same at the Great White Throne of Judgment, they will give their account, their reasons for denying the Lord Jesus Christ.
No, it will not take 67 years to review your life, only a few minutes at best for most of us, for others perhaps a little longer, but that is not the point, those idle words are.
Silence may be golden my friends, but no one has ever been brought to the cross by silence, or by idle words.