Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Reviling


"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither . . . revilers . . . will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

I was struck by that word "revilers" in my personal Bible reading this morning. It means "those who speak in an insulting manner." The verbal form means "to assail with contemptuous language, to utter bitter complaint or denunciation." Jesus said, "Whoever says 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire" (Matthew 5:22), "On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak" (Matthew 12:36). It is so easy to think, "My words are no big deal. I'm not DOING anything bad. In fact, I'm justified in what I'm unleashing out of my mouth. Look what they did!" Interesting, isn't it, how we excuse our own unguarded words, even as we wince in pain at the words of others?

There will be no shouting matches in heaven, no put-downs, no reviling, because there will be no revilers. They will not inherit the kingdom of God. He is a fountain of overflowing sweetness. What a lovely environment heaven must be.

Have our mouths spoken reviling words we need to take back, now while we have the chance? Are we ready for heaven? Is a little whisper of heaven what people experience through the words coming out of our mouths?