(J. R. Miller, “Devotional Hours with the Bible”)
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken!” Matthew 12:36
We cannot recall any word we have spoken. It may be a false word or an unkind word–a word which will blast and burn! Instantly after it has been spoken–we may wish it back and may rush after it and try to stop it–but there is no power in the world that can unsay the hurtful word–or blot it out of our life!
It is just so with our acts. A moment after we have done a wicked thing, we may bitterly repent it. We may be willing to give all we have in the world to undo it, to make it as though it never had been. But in vain. A deed done takes its place in the universe as a fact–and never can be recalled.
We should be sure before we speak a word or do an act–that it is right, that we shall never desire to have it recalled–for when once we have opened our lips, or lifted our hand–there will be no unsaying or undoing possible.
Our words and deeds are irrevocable. We cannot recall anything we have done, neither can we change it. But by other words and deeds, we may in some measure modify the effect of that which we cannot blot out. Paul could not undo his persecutions of Christians–but by a life to devotion to Christ’s cause–he could in a sense make reparation for the terrible harm he had done.
Just so, we cannot undo the wrong things we have done–but we should strive to set in motion other influences which may at least compensate in some sense for the harm they have wrought. We cannot unsay the sharp word which wounds our friend’s heart–but we can by kindness and loyal devotion–yet bring good and blessing to his life.