Monday, February 20, 2012

Careless Words

I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. -- Matthew 12:36

This verse is an important and sobering one. If every word we say is going to be weighed for or against us, we need to choose the words we speak carefully. Our words should be words of life and not words of death.

The tongue has the power of life and death. -- Proverbs 18:21a

This is equally true of the words we put into entertainment. The prose of a novel, the dialogue of a film, the lyrics of a song--all will be weighed for or against us. The words we write are just as important as the words we say.

God has given us the ability to create entertainment, and He expects us to use it well. We must watch out for unintentional bad messages that may creep into our works, and seek to present godly messages as effectively as possible.

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. -- Proverbs 15:2

Additionally, we must evaluate any content that is “edgy” for appropriateness rather than realism. The point is not that we create entertainment that most vividly depicts a sinful world, but that we create entertainment that most vividly depicts God’s love in a sinful world.

When you get to heaven, do you think God is going to ask why you didn’t make that murder scene just a little bit edgier? On the other hand, you can be sure He’ll ask you why you succumbed to peer pressure and added swearing to your novel to be “realistic.”

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint. -- Proverbs 17:27a

We are responsible for the entertainment we create. What we create is going to be seen by many eyes--including God’s. The message and the content should be honoring to God, and if the entertainment we create has a message that goes against God’s Word, or has unnecessary content, that will weigh against us.

With both the words we speak and the words we write, we should strive to be able to say:

All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. -- Proverbs 8:8

Bible verses from the NIV.

(c) 2012 Jonathan Garner


  1. Having had the joy of discussing this topic with you privately, I'm very glad to see you publish an article on it, Jonathan. I've really enjoyed our talks, and they've helped me in many ways with refining my writing. Keep writing and posting for HIS glory!

    1. Thank you, Aubrey! I've really enjoyed our talks, too.

  2. Very good post, Jonathan. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts. :)

  3. This is very sobering, Jonathan. You've helped me think more carefully on this topic, when it comes to both entertainment and communication. So thank you. :)

  4. Thank you for this, Jonathan! That was wonderful! I've been discussing this topic with a few friends on a different forum (different from Holy Worlds) recently. You put this better than I can!


    1. Thank you for commenting, Arianllyn! I'm glad it was helpful.