Everything we say and everything we do has a reward or a consequence. We don’t set the standard; God does.
(14) From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.
We take our cue from Jesus, who was “powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.” Luke 24:19
We learn from the Apostle Paul that we are to value highly what we say and do:
(17) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
What is interesting is that in order to have control over our words, we must have control over our minds and thoughts, which also gives us power over our actions.
Verses on taking control of our thoughts:
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments [in our minds] and every pretension [lie and deception] that sets itself up against the knowledge of God [that which is counter to His holiness], and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 We are in a battle everyday!
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy [His grace poured out on us], to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice [climb up on the altar], holy and pleasing to God [this is how we are in God’s sight because of the blood of Jesus]—this is your true and proper worship [we worship out of gratitude in our hearts!].2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind [through prayer and Bible study]. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will [for each word and deed]. Romans 12:1-2
How seriously we take these verses and the task of yielding our words and deeds to the LORD speaks loudly about where we think we stand in God’s eyes. Jesus said this to Simon the Pharisee:
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:41-47
How much do we think we have been forgiven? Let’s let this question determine how hard we try in the area of mastering our words and deeds. Just remember that our dependence upon the Holy Spirit is the sure way to victory. To do it in our own power is actually counter-productive for a Christian. It is trying to use pre-salvation methods to gain post-salvation fruit. Let’s call on Him who has given us love and grace, encouragement and hope, to strengthen us in every good deed and word.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17