There are some words that tend to offend people. We all know what they are. Most of them are used as insults. We call them bad words. These words are dirty. But as upsetting as we all like to think these words are supposed to be, dirty words draw large crowds of people who claim they don’t want to hear them. Our words and the way we use them show what we think, love, hate, and value. Jesus taught that it is important to evaluate people based upon their words. Jesus wants us to be on the lookout for bad words and recognize that what we say has eternal consequences. Our words reflect what we believe.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their blasphemous speech:
Here Jesus is concerned with the worst kind of speech possible: false teaching. Jesus’ point is that people will know Christians by what they confess as their faith. Bad words in our culture can be abrasive and offensive, but false theology leads people astray. Christians must learn what God has said about himself in Scripture. We must learn how to talk about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in a way that is appropriate to who God is. We must learn to speak correctly about what the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are doing in the world. Our speech matters more than we realize. Through words we confess our faith. And the hope is that what we confess matches the faith given to us in Scripture. Paul gives an example of faithful speech about God in his letter to Timothy:
May we guard the most important area of our speech: our confession of the faith.