[Jesus said] “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow. His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant!‘” ~ Luke 19:20-22a (The Parable of the Ten Minas)
One of the most terrifying thoughts I could ever imagine is what the master says to his wicked servant: “I will judge you by your own words.” Although the statement is a small part of the parable, it conveys an important lesson. Jesus is going to return in glory to judge everyone on the basis of their faith which is evident by their works, including the words they speak.
It is easy to overlook my words. Rarely do I pay close attention to them until someone tells me I am wrong, or that I have hurt them. When the Lord says, “I will judge you by your own words,” I need to understand what he means.
Many people believe they will be able to plead their case before the Lord. At times, so do I. I may claim to be a good person. I may be able to recite countless good works. I may even promote all my good intentions. While this may sound acceptable to my ears, what happens when the Lord responds, “I will judge you by your own words?”
To all the good I’ve tried to accomplish, the Lord will say, “Didn’t I require you to be perfect?” Then and there, I would be judged by my own words to be unacceptable and undeserving of the perfect bliss of heaven. Since I would be judged in this way, I need to look past my words and works, and look alone to Jesus. He lived the perfect life required of me. He died the perfect death demanded from me. He provided the perfect confidence of heaven needed by me. Therefore, I can claim all that Jesus offers.
When I confess, “I trust in Jesus as my Savior,” God will judge me by my own words. Those words will never leave me hopeless, nor put me to shame. They will fill me with joy, because the Lord will receive me—perfect and completely acceptable to him because of Jesus, my Savior.