Summary: Here is a short teaching on guarding our speech.
Christians and Non-Christians Must Give an Accounting
Oswald Champers in My Utmost for His Highest wrote "The deadliest pharisaism to-day is not hypocrisy, but unconscious unreality." Jesus spoke a truth that awakens the human soul to a reality that is going to be experienced by all of mankind, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34b-37)
The Message (Bible) translates what Jesus taught, "Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back and haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation." (Matthew 12:34b-37)
This truth is taught by Jesus during his teaching to the Pharisees. (Matthew 12:1-14; 12:22-37) Here in this teaching Jesus tells His listeners to come clean, examine their own hearts by what they speak to see if they are letting the Holy Spirit season their speech with God's grace.
Careless (idle, literally thoughtless words) are spontaneous expressions which reveal what is in a person's heart. It has been well written, "Let a man examine his words, that he may discover the state of his heart. And let him remember that God will not only judge the words he speaks under careful deliberation, but also by the words he speaks when the conventional restraints are gone and the real feelings of his heart are spoke forth." (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1976). The Gospel of Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 46–47). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press)
People may say in anger words that hurt others. After their discourse they may say, "I never meant it." That does not free them from the responsibility of what they have spoken. What they have spoken, has wounded a heart. Thus, they will give an accounting. A person may say things in an relaxed moment that brings question to the character of others, cause people to lose heart, entice people to rebel against truth and positive leadership. For saying such words, there will be an accounting. The fact is, the words that we speak are a reflection of what is really in our hearts, revealing who we really are.
What does your speech reveal to others? Are you a person who is positive in your speech or a person who is known to speak negatively. Does your speech reflect a language that is Holy Spirit controlled, or influenced by the sinful nature, a world view or by the lies of the devil. The truth we all must heed to: At the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) or at the White Throne Judgment (Revelations 20:11-15), everyone will give an accounting for every word spoken.
We should all seek the Lordship of Jesus Christ, so we can set an example in speech. (1 Timothy 4:12) Whoever loves life and desires to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and lips from deceitful speech." (1 Peter 3:10)