Mt. 12:37- "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Who says that a promise has to be comforting? A promise is simply a guarantee that a certain action will be undertaken in the future, or a continuing action will take place over a period of time, such as when couples marry, they promise to love each other till "death do we part." Older people can remember a time when one's word was one's bond; if one promised to do something, if the parties agreed with a handshake, the action was as good as done. Those of us who have faith in God know that God keeps His Word and He has given us promises upon promises concerning our soujourn on earth and our life with Him in heaven.
Yet not all God's promises are meant to comfort. Some are meant as a warning. In Mt. 12: 33-37, Jesus warned the Pharisees, and us today, that if our heart is not right, Godly words of praise and encouragement will not be a feature of our conversation. Those who speak words that are not a blessing to God and Man Jesus calls "a brood of vipers!" (v. 34) In this verse Jesus also calls them evil and those who are evil cannot speak good things. Then Jesus warns, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. " (v. 36) Jesus is not just speaking of words actually cursing God or profanity or personal insults. He warns that every idle word will be judged. Idle. Useless to the hearer. If we focus on the trivial, distracting ourselves and others from the eternal, wasting precious time, we will give an account. If we don't learn to thank God in private, how can we witness for Him in public? If we don't meditate on God's goodness, how can we worship Him? How can we lift up the downcast? If we don't spend time in God's Word, how can we disciple others, rescuing them from wrong thinking and sinful attitudes and behaviors? How we spend time in private will be revealed in our public behavior. If we truly believe in Jesus, then our private moments will be dedicated to Him, and we will bear good fruit. (v. 35) And we will not fear God's judgement because He has promised good to those who obey Him. We know His word on this is sure. But we can also be assured that if we fail to produce good fruit, condemnation awaits. God's warnings imply the possibility of repentance and a different destiny. There is still time to become men and women of God, those who please God and edify others. Which promise, justification or condemnation, will you choose?
(All scripture quotations from the NKJV)