God judges the dishonest person and the slanderer in a threefold sense; He punishes the person:
1. Directly - with a disturbed and restless conscience;
2. Through others - by loss of respect and trust;
3. Through Satan - eternally in hell if unrepentant.
Therefore, it is so important to carefully watch our speech. Language is a very precious gift from God which can be used for much good when expressing love, concern, friendliness, kindness, etc. It can also be used for much evil, however, when expressing hatred, lies, gossip, slander, etc. The following poem expresses this thought.
What A Word Did
'Twas only a word, a careless word,
But it smote the heart of one who heard
Like a fierce, relentless blow;
The day seemed overcast with gloom,
The sweetest songs seemed out of tune;
The fires of hope burned low.
'Twas only a word, a loving word,
But a weary, sorrowing heart was stirred,
And life looked brighter hue;
And faith, triumphant, pruned her wing,
Discouraged souls began to sing,
And hope revived anew.
Only a word, and yet what power
It holds to better or to mar
The lives of those who hear.
What power for good - for evil, too!
Oh, may our words be good and true,
And spoken in God's fear.
- Anna L. Dreyer
May God grant us the spirit of prayer and caution expressed by David when he wrote, "Set a watch, 0 LORD, before my mouth; keep the doors of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).
Why must we continually train ourselves to think before we speak?
There is that speaketh like' the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
- Proverbs 12:18
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
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.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, I even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
- James 3:5-10
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.