An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
However he might, the evil person will ensnare himself because he cannot always keep up a false appearance. A powerful political person was caught on tape speaking threats against those who would oppose him. He apologized for a lapse of character, but in truth, the image he tried to convey publicly is a lapse of his real character. The heart, sooner or later, will reveal itself.
That is why it is essential to work on real change in our hearts. Learning etiquette and methods to influence and win friends is helpful. Many times good-hearted persons offend others because they have not learned the proper customs of good communication; nevertheless, the righteous heart (and one must have a kind heart to be righteous) will time and again vindicate its owner.
The righteous person will often be protected by others who will speak up for him. His integrity will serve him well when slandered. His righteousness gives him wisdom to know how to avoid trouble and how to escape when evil comes against him.
But the true test will come at the Day of Judgment before God, when, as Jesus says, “people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). When the recordings of our lives are played, our words will either ensnare us or vindicate us as they reveal the true condition of our hearts.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2022 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org