Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
Read Luke 12:1-7
I don’t know about you, but I know this is not the first time I have heard or read this teaching of Jesus. For some reason or another, reading it this time, the message has finally penetrated this hard skull of mine. While my language may not be as salty as some others, if it was said in the dark or whispered behind closed doors, then I would prefer that those words stay there. If I have spoken halhalf-truths have stretched the truth all out of shape, then I would prefer that they remain in the dark or stay put behind closed doors. If my words have feigned rapt attention when I have been bored to tears, then I would prefer that those with whom I have been conversing not be enlightened as to what I was truly feeling. If I have spoken kindly of others when face-to-face with them and spoken unkindly of them when their backs were turned, then I would prefer that they and everyone else not know of my deceit. Thus, there are so many times when I wish I had kept my mouth shut! Can you relate to any of those situations?
The very idea what we have said in the dark or whispered behind closed doors should become known leaves us squirming and feeling as uncomfortable as when the physical examination gown comes down at the doctor’s office! But then that’s just you and the doctor and perhaps a nurse. That is still pretty private. A better description might be of that happening in a teaching hospital where doctors, nurses and interns are all looking at you! That gets us a little closer to the embarrassment level.
Yes, these words are hard to hear! I feel pretty certain that the Apostle Peter would have preferred that his cursing, when he denied Jesus had remained in the dark rather than being recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Like the Apostle Peter and the Prophet Isaiah, we are all men and women of unclean lips. We may be certain that the One who has counted all the hairs upon our heads knows not only the words we have spoken, but all of the thoughts that we have ever had.
As we envision all of what we have said in the darkness and all the secrets we have whispered behind closed doors becoming known, we can and should feel ashamed. Can’t you imagine looking down at your feet not wanting to make eye contact with anyone as those words are retold? I would feel of little or no value. But then Jesus closes that teaching by saying, “(Y)ou are of more value than many sparrows.” What is more telling is that we are so valuable that Christ died for us. He died on the cross so that we might receive forgiveness of our sins, among which are those things we have said in the dark and have whispered behind closed doors. While I am very grateful to know that my sins are forgiven, I ask God to help me think before I speak and to guard my words.
Dear God, we thank You for loving us so much that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We are mindful that all of us are sinners and that many of our sins are connected to the tongue. Forgive us and help us to tame our tongues. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.