“The Way You Talk Gives You Away”

“A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.'” (Matthew 26:73)

This verse describes what happened as Simon Peter denied Jesus for the 3rd time after His arrest. But it also leads to an ironic twist, with a piercing truth:

The “bystanders” who were watching Peter believed that he was with Jesus’ party, and the reason they believed it was “the way you talk.” Evidently either his accent, or choice of words, was peculiar to Nazareth or the surrounding area, and indicated that he was an “out-of-towner” and likely with Christ. Peter’s response is striking: Verse 74 says, “Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!'” How ironic! His interrogators had just asserted that “the way you talk gives you away” — and here Peter DOES indeed  “give himself away” with his speech!  But it didn’t “give away” merely his regional origin; rather his speech here exposed his HEART.

The thing is, our words always do that. They expose our heart. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34) When you say something unseemly, you shouldn’t exclaim, “Where did THAT come from?” — as if you had no idea. Your mouth speaks from the overflow of your heart.

The bottom line is that just like Peter, “the way you talk gives you away.” Your daily speech reveals your spiritual condition. It demonstrates what you really love, because what you love, you talk about. And sometimes, like Peter, we show our lack of loyalty to Christ by denying Him before others. One thing is certain: if you want to know where you really are spiritually, just take a close look at your words. For “the way you talk gives you away.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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