I Was Just Thinking About – CARELESSNESS.
During my pre-teen years, a faithful Sunday School teacher had the boys in his class memorize Proverbs 4:23 and frequently recite it at the start of the class: “Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life (are the issues of life).” In the NLT, it states: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Along the way, verse 24 has become significant as well: “Put away deception from your mouth; keep your lips from perverse speech.” It is too easy for one to become matter-of-fact regarding guardedness. It is in the unguarded moments when expressions and comments occur that can have negative implications. There is a good reason for the words of Jesus to be remembered and implemented, Matthew 12:36, "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”
For one thing, one’s thoughts and words are known to the Lord, and if they are unamended and not corrected, secondly, they will be judged accordingly. Additionally, one’s personal and frequent exposure to the inspired Word is basic to one’s commitment to being guarded in his behavior and comments. Hebrews 4:12-13 instructs and reminds one: “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”
For the one who persists in living an unguarded life, Leviticus 5:4-5 gives the stern instruction and warning: “If a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these. When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.” What is the context for this stern instruction? What is the cautionary instruction of the Lord for a generation of people who are receiving religious guidelines? Verses 1 through 3 make mention of:
Verse 1: “If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.”
Verse 2: “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that is ceremonially unclean, such as the carcass of an unclean animal. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your defilement and your guilt.”
Verse 3: “Or suppose you unknowingly touch something that makes a person unclean. When you realize what you have done, you must admit your guilt.”
The direction of Jesus Christ, (Matthew 5:16), is that His people are to be light in a world of darkness. First John 1:5-7, clearly specifies: “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But, if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Are you careful or careless in the way you live your life in the culture and world? Are you guarded or unguarded in what you say or in the things you do? Do you keep short accounts with the Lord or do you act as though your words, deeds and actions are insignificant and unimportant in terms of what constitutes sin?
Most Sunday School and Church attenders are familiar with a chorus that was taught to the children: Be careful little mouth what you say… Be careful little feet where you go… Be careful little hands what you do… Maybe all of us should begin each new day by singing the words of the chorus and reminding ourselves that our carelessness is observed by the Lord and he will hold every one of us accountable for our thoughts words and deeds.
Carefully and Prayerfully – consider these things with me.