“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” (Matthew 12:36-37).
We seem to think our words simply fall to the ground and die, or vanish into thin air and dissolve into nothingness. Not so! Our words live on—they do not die!
You may say, “But I only told this gossip to one friend and he promised never to repeat it. It will end with him.” No, it will not! Every single word you and I utter is recorded, written down in eternity, and we will hear them all repeated to us at the judgment.
I recall coming under deep conviction after sharing a vicious bit of gossip with a friend. What I said was indeed true. It was about a moral situation I had had to deal with concerning a minister. His name came up in the conversation and I said, “Don’t trust him. I know something about him!”
Even as I mouthed off, I felt condemned. The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Stop right there! Nobody needs to know that. Don’t say more, because there’s no purpose to it. Even though it’s true, don’t repeat it!”
What I had already said was bad enough. But then I blurted out the lurid details! I knew I should have been quiet and sure enough, I was deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit. So later I called my friend and said, “I’m sorry, that was gossip. I was out of order. Please don’t repeat it. Try not to even think about it.”
Is my sin covered by the blood of Jesus? Yes, because I fully acknowledged that I had sinned and I allowed the Holy Spirit to show me some of the legalistic pride left in me. I allowed Him to humble me and heal me! Now, whenever I begin to say something against somebody, I obey the Holy Spirit as I hear Him say, loud and clear, “Stop!”