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Americans have an infatuation with police shows, crime antics, and mysteries. On an average night in America, the television line-up of shows reveals dozens of episodes that involve police, crime stories, unsolved mysteries, and the like. It is really easy to get caught into the story line as it unfolds, only to be left without a clear answer at the end of the show. The writers, producers, and actors invite you to come back and watch the show next week. Many of these shows that involve courtrooms, judges, and juries, generally end up with a clear choice of guilt or innocence by the jury. But then there are those rare occasions where the jury deliberates for extended periods of time, leaving everyone simply waiting to see the end result of the case.

Similarly, our spiritual lives have a case that is pending and the jury is still out. The crimes that we’ve been charged with are misdemeanor excessive talking, aggravated gossip, felony lying, and other mitigating charges involving our mouths. The jury is still unclear of how to really deliberate on these charges because they are more subtle than any white collar crime, more destructive than any Ponzi scheme, and more hazardous than any chemical agent ever created. Our mouths determine the course of our lives, impact the thoughts and ideas of others, and destroy the hopes and dreams of millions. It literally shapes even your concept of God’s work in your life.

It is so powerful that Jesus says in Matthew 12: 36, “And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”(ERV) Some translations use the words careless, empty, and thoughtless. In either case, we are challenged to identify our casual approach to the words that come out of our mouths. Specifically since Jesus emphatically shares the priority that God places on them. Consider the heaviness of this reality – as our lives on earth are coming to a close and the reality of our salvation is before us, the consideration of our work on earth is before us, and the extent of our sincere love is before us. But right in that same discussion with God is the idea of how we have used our mouths. Can you see the magnitude of it all? It seems that this would not be on the same level as our salvation, but it is. Without a doubt, the word, ‘every’, kind of hangs out there as an extra emphasis to this truth.

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Daily Devotional: “The Jury Is Still Out”  was originally published on

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