Celebrities often get into trouble not because of doing something wrong but because of saying something wrong. A trivial comment, an inappropriate choice of words, an unwise opinion, can land them into serious trouble. Common people react to what celebrities say. Their words are examined, commented upon, judged and they are recorded so that they could be replayed later at an inconvenient time.
Words are important not only in the case of important people, but for everyone. Couples never forget hurtful words said to each other, and marital discords may begin years later when they are recalled from memory. The past is raked up, words are analysed, motives are attributed, and the divide widens.
As the years go by, we tend to forget many events of the past. They lose their intensity and relevance for us as we find better things to do in life. But old words linger on in our memory. Words of insult, injustice, rudeness, anger and deceit, words hurled at us carelessly and insensitively, are retained by our memory cells.
The Bible has some sound advice for us about our own words. It tells us to be extremely careful about them. Even before we have formed words on our tongues and uttered them, God has heard them. (Psalm 139:4) Lord Jesus has himself warned us that when we have lived out our life here, we will have to give God an account of every idle word that we have spoken! (Matthew 12:36) He will judge us by our words and ask us to defend our empty, careless and thoughtless utterances.
Think before you speak, is what the Bible teaches. It is of course difficult, but this prayer could make it easy: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord!” (Psalm 19:14)