The Word of God is perfect and what it says is as it is stated. We have a tendency to interpret the Word in a relaxed and suiting way yet turning away from any of the commandments is total not acceptable. Hear the Word spoken by Jesus in Matthew 12:36, ‘but I tell you that men will have to give account on they of judgment for every careless word they have spoken’.
This is one of Jesus’ utterances that is easily forgotten or taken for granted yet its consequences are unbearable. I have noticed that once the Bible records the phrase ‘give an account’, there is a risk of hell damnation next to it. Similarly, vain words equal hell. In Hebrews 4:13, the bible tells us that ‘nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account’. We also know that He is ready to judge people on how that live their lives (1 Peter 4:5).
Heavenly Record Keeping
The spiritual world is a mystery that can be very difficult to explain in human terms and the Bible tells us what happens without necessarily explaining how it happens. Probably because our lives are too short, just like vapor (James 4:14), which is why it is easy to keep a record of each and everyone’s life spoken words, thoughts and activities for judgment.
We know that God operates a lot through angels and I have a strong belief in that it is the angels that keep record of the human life. This makes me get so worried for my soul when I took a review my life, particularly the words that I have said to others and even those that I have written down just like these on this blog. I would by no means want to miss Heaven just for having spoken a vain word as the truth is that even a single one of such words can lead to hell. I could be blogging, joking or even preaching when such words that trigger the anger of God come out of my mind.
What vain words are
I used the Bible to try and get the meaning of this phrase. In some Bible translations, the word ‘vain’ is replaced by ‘idle’.
The word ‘vain’ is used a lot in the Bible and its meaning points at doing something for no reward. In Leviticus 26:16, 20, the Bible records the act of planting seeds in vain and spending strength in vain. Job 39:16 makes an analogy of vain labor pains for a woman that is harsh and does not care for her young ones.
This gives us an understanding of how words are capable of. Words should be productive and if they are not they equal to vanity. I therefore see a lot of vain words in jokes, gossip, creative writing, insults, empty promises, misquotes and lies. These are just what I think comprise vain words yet I believe that the list is way longer than this. Christians should participate cautiously in such activities. In fact, the Bible gives a strong warning to believers to be careful not to be deceived by vain words from others as this triggers God’s anger over such people because they disobey God through their vain words (Ephesians 5:6).
Isaiah 58:13 lists speaking vain words as a hindrance to receiving the joy of the LORD. The very last verse I found on vain words is found in 2 Peter 2:18. The NIV gives ads one more category of vain words ‘boasting’ and the BLI says ‘arrogant’. The KJV says ‘swelling words of vanity’.
It is not very obvious but it is true that vain words, which are an abomination to God, surely come out of our mouths whether intentionally or not. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in what we say and let Him control us. Routinely as we pray, we must never forget to confess and repent for vain words that we may have said in the day.