The Ultimate Test
Once, when my mother was young, she began to say uncomplimentary things about someone while visiting with an older Christian woman. The lady stopped her by saying, "If you can't say something good about that person, don't say anything."
Mother never forgot those words and made them a motto for her life. She carefully guarded her words until it became her habit never to criticize another. I grew up hearing remarks such as, "He probably didn't mean that the way it sounded," or she would encourage me to believe the best about someone's questionable actions by saying, "Let's put the best construction on that we can." She didn't just say those words; she believed and lived by them. She always overlooked a potential personal offense.
As a result, others always had kind words to say about her. Jesus' words proved true: "Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged" (Matthew 7:1, 2 NLT).
Jesus, help me to remember that the control of my tongue is a real test of my relationship with You.
"Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36).
"Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (Ephesians 4:29 NLT).
"Those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way" (James 3:2 NLT).