Kent Crockett tells the following story:
“Years ago my wife and I recorded many of our family highlights using an 8mm home movie camera. We collected years of precious memories in numerous spools of film, which became antiquated after the invention of video cameras. Some friends living in another state offered to combine all our films into one videotape. We gladly accepted their generous offer and sent them our films.
Our friends placed an 8mm home movie camera in their living room to project our movies. They also set up a VHS video camera pointed at the screen and recorded the films while the other camera’s reels turned. They sent the completed videotape to us.
Cindy and I were anxious to watch the tape of our old movies. We brought out the popcorn and inserted the video into our VCR. But that’s where the fun stopped. As we beheld our old home movie films on videotape, we also listened to our friends’ remarks. They had not realized that when they recorded our films, the video camera also taped their critical comments about us!
When the videotape began, they started making fun of us. As the film continued to roll, their comments turned vicious. With every new scene came a cutting remark or hurtful joke. Daggers entered my heart as I listened to what our friends honestly thought about us. My wife was devastated.
Our friends looked at us through judgmental glasses. Although they were cordial to our faces, the video recorded the true thoughts of their hearts.”
Do you want to read a terrifying passage? My candidate is Matthew 12:36-37, where Jesus gives us this ominous warning:
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
When we consider this awesome weight that words carry, not just in this life but on into the “day of judgment,” I think you’ll agree with me that our frequent prayer should be David’s from Psalm 141:3:
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”