I believe that a Christian must speak only God’s words if they want to be innocent before God (Matthew 12:36). Of course, it might be hard to imagine us saying only God’s words. However, “saying only God’s words” represents a speech pattern. This speech pattern mimics how God or Jesus speaks.
We have a commandment that relates to God’s speech pattern. Scripture says “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each other” (Colossians 4:6). This commandment is like us saying we should only speak God’s words. Jesus says “Salt is good but not if it’s flavorless” (Luke 14:34). All of our words should have salt (Leviticus 2:13).
God’s speech pattern vs. Good words
Now, it seems people must be careful to say good words. If a person says good words, they appear good. Someone who speaks kind words, according to the world, is kind. A person who speaks deliberately, according to the world, is wise and purposeful.
So are we to appease everyone with words? Is someone good if his or her speech sounds good? Is this “good speaker” innocent before God? Are we to believe that the person who always has a kind word is kind in God’s sight? If I never curse, am I blessed? If I never swear, do I have a promise? Is a person innocent when he or she changes idle words into busy words?
Silence is golden, or not?
The world stays silent if it can’t say a beneficial word to others. If the world cannot prophesy peace and prosperity, it remains silent. The world thinks people should not speak if they can’t see the good in their words. For instance, if I’m going to say something that I don’t think will have a good reaction, I must, according to the world, stay silent. “Silence is golden,” the world says. “When we speak,” the world says, “we should speak with mindfulness, in a way to solidify peace and compassion in our characters.”
How the world seeks mindfulness of peace, benefit, compassion, and good character! Nevertheless, I say our mind is already full of these things. Humans need to become empty—mindless. The Holy Spirit needs to fill us with God, not our “good” thoughts of peace, compassion, and benefit. Thinking well doesn’t result in speaking well. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is” (Jeremiah 17:9)? How can we trust our thoughts? How can we trust that our thoughts are good?
Despite the desire of wanting good thoughts, humans have a bad thought-reputation. “God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of humans’ hearts were only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). We can deceive ourselves to think we intend peace, compassion, and benefit. However, an analysis of the heart can reveal we intend discord, hate, and harm.
The mindlessness of God’s speech pattern
It is higher to let God speak for us, not our minds. Speaking God’s words deletes our minds or hearts from the equation. Does not Scripture say “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:5-8). The Christian relies not on his or her good thoughts but the extreme fear and reverence of Lord. A contemplative disposition doesn’t make one wise. The fear of the Lord makes one wise (Psalm 111:10).
So we read that “God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). A secret thing is hidden. People may not know of the secret things, intentions, or motivations in their heart. But God knows all secrets. “People demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right” (Romans 2:15). Despite our speech, we can’t escape our secret or underlying thoughts. It is not words alone that condemn people, but also the words’ hidden origins.
And we read that “No immoral, impure, or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Jesus Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such empty words, God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 5:5-6). It is easy for a greedy person to speak “good” words. It’s just as easy for a murderer to say a kind word. But what about the heart? The world does not understand this about words: words are deeper than the tone of a voice or the surface of feeling and worldly benefit.
The speech pattern of God’s Word
The Christian knows that “even before he or she speaks a word, God knows all about it” (Psalm 139:4). God knows how, when, what, and where we’re going to say something. But most importantly, God knows why we say it. He knows if we are saying something because we’re nice or want to appear nice. He knows if we’re saying something because we’re good or want to appear good. God knows all about our words. We can’t hide anything from the Lord. The Christian says, “Let all my words follow the intentions and motivations of God. Let my words be shaped not by my intentions.” “I can’t stay silent,” the Christian explains, “just because I can’t think of a ‘good’ word. I must say what God says and not remain silent!”
One should only speak God’s words. When a person speaks only God’s words, God will not punish that person. Since God condemns people by their words, condemns people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:37, John 3:18) but doesn’t condemn those who believe in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ becomes the one “Word” God doesn’t condemn. Therefore, if people only speak “Jesus” (God’s Word), they are innocent before God.