The pressure was on. Jesus had been arrested and the disciples scattered. Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard of the high priest and time after time people tried to connect him to Jesus. You know the story. Peter denied knowing Him.
But it was the third question that stands out. A bystander came up to Peter and said, “Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away” (Matthew 26:73).
Think about it for a minute. The way Peter talked gave him away. Yes, some translations say it was his accent that gave him away. But let’s ponder this New American Standard translation for a moment in light of Peter’s surprising response.
The bystander said the way Peter was talking gave him away. The way Peter was talking identified him as one of Jesus’ disciples. How would one of Jesus’ disciples talk? Perhaps a little like Jesus?
The words that Jesus spoke are spirit and life (John 6:63). People can tell we’re Jesus’ disciples by the love we have for one another, but also by the words that we speak out of our born-again mouths. Our words should be spirit and life.
In other words, they should be edifying. They should be faith-filled. They should agree with the spirit of the Scriptures. Our words should not curse ourselves or other people, but rather bless.
The bystander said the way Peter was talking gave him away. So what did Peter do? He started talking trash out of his mouth. The Bible says, “he began to curse and swear” (Matthew 26:74).
Apparently that satisfied the bystander — and the devil — and no more accusations were launched against Peter.
But Peter felt the conviction immediately. And so should we when our words are anything less than spirit and life. Of course, it’s most difficult when the pressure is on. That’s when our mouths reveal what’s really in our hearts.
God has given us the right to use our mouths however we want to. The power of life and death are in our tongues.
Start believing that today and speak life. You’ll be glad you did.