Loose Lips Sink More Than Ships: The Eternal Consequences of Our Words

Photo by Yan Krukau: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-long-sleeve-shirt-4667763/

How often do you think about the consequences of your words, either for good or bad?

If you’re like me, it needs to be more often. “Loose lips sink ships,” we’ve been told.

We carelessly let our words fly, without considering how they affect others. That in itself is a weighty subject worth careful examination. But I raise you this:

There is even more at stake with the use of our words. Eternity, judgment and the ever-listening omnipresent God of the Bible add a lot to the topic. This is something I’ve been thinking about as:

  1. Our church is going through the book of James on Sunday mornings at the time of this writing – the section on the tongue (James 3:1-9) is always convicting
  2. Our women’s ministries just finished going through a book called “Taming the Tongue,” by Jeff Robinson
  3. I recently read additional Old Testament context on this, which is what inspired me to write this post

How do loose lips sink more than ships?

It’s been said that “loose lips sink ships.” That phrase was popularized during World War II as a way to convince citizens to beware of unguarded talk. The idea being that talking loosely about the war could actually end up leaking sensitive information to the enemy, that may lead to ships being attacked and sunk.

But when you consider what I am about to share, the stakes get even higher. So how do loose lips sink more than ships?

I should preface that I am speaking from the context of a Christian who seeks to know and apply what God says in His word about the subject of speech. For those irreligious or non-Christian, you too may find this to be worth considering.

The three topics we’ll cover are:

  1. God cares about what we say
  2. God hears what we say
  3. We will be judged for what we say

Let’s dive in.

God cares about what we say

The warnings about speech are a consistent theme throughout Scripture. How we address God, others, and even the things we think but do not say — these are all of utmost importance.

Consider the words of King Solomon, called the wisest man to ever live:

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.”
– Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

God has even told us:

“There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,”
– Proverbs 6:16-17
(keep reading the passage for the other things God hates)


When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
– Proverbs 10:19

The New Testament continues the admonition to be mindful of our words.

“Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
– Ephesians 4:29

Our Lord Jesus Himself, while incarnate on the earth, gave a blistering condemnation to the hypocritical Pharisees, who thought they were righteous, when in fact, they were deceived, and deceiving others.

Says Jesus to them, 

“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” – Matthew 12:34-35

Later in the New Testament, Jesus’ half-brother, James, warns us:

“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;”
– James 1:19

But does it matter? How? I’m glad you asked.

God hears what we say

I mentioned this above, and it bears repeating. Though it can be terrifying to dwell upon, God is omnipresent. Everywhere, at all times. Thus, He hears every word we speak. A few verses to illuminate that truth:

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.”
– Proverbs 15:3

“Can a man hide himself in hiding places
So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
– Jeremiah 23:24

As I’ve been reading through Ezekiel of late, I read a verse that gave me pause. In chapter 35, God is giving Ezekiel a prophetic word to speak against one of Israel’s enemies, Edom. They are told of their own misspeaking against Him:

“And you have spoken arrogantly against Me and have multiplied your words against Me; I have heard it,”
– Ezekiel 35:13

That bore in mind the truth that God hears what we say. Whether we are aware of it or not.

But what does it all mean?

We will be judged for what we say

This is where it hits home for each one of us.

A continuation of His criticism of the Pharisees we read in Matthew 12 above, Jesus says,

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
– Matthew 12:36-37

A verse like this can easily be taken out of context in several ways. It is not teaching that words are a basis for justification and salvation. We’d all be without hope if that were the case! Rather, it is a sober warning that, apart from salvation in Christ, your own words will condemn you.

So what do we do about it? (Conclusion)

Dearest reader, I can’t know the state of your heart, and your standing before the triune God of Scripture “to whom we must give an account.” (Hebrews 4:13)

I can tell you, that as a Christian, fully known and loved by God, and striving to obey Him in all my ways, I do not take this subject lightly. I regularly sin in what I say, and I must repent to our faithful and just God (1 John 1:9).

If you find yourself outside the grace of God in Christ, my gentle recommendation is to also consider this topic carefully and prayerfully.

If you want more information on the ways of God and how to become right with Him, I suggest you find yourself a Bible and start by reading the gospel of John. Finding a good church that teaches the word of God faithfully is also vital. You are always welcome to leave me a comment with your thoughts or questions, too!

Thank you for reading! I pray that you will experience the joy of the Lord.

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