Posted by George Morrison

It’s not the first time a live microphone has caught an aside made by a celebrity when he or she thought it was switched off! Prime Minister Brown’s doorstep chat with Labour supporter Gillian Duffy appeared to go reasonably well, that is until Brown was being driven away in his ministerial car. In its relative seclusion he allowed himself to express his true feelings about the interview. He thought Gillian was a bad choice and wanted to know who had arranged it. He feared the media would show him in a bad light then unwittingly ensured that this would happen by calling her a “bigoted woman”! All of which was broadcast over the on-site loudspeakers. The journalists covering the event had their story handed to them on a plate. Brown had the tape of his off the record words played to him in the studio a short time later. This caused the ministerial car to make a second journey to Mrs Duffy’s house where the now contrite Prime Minister spent the next hour inside with Mrs Duffy. Unfortunately the microphone was not left on this time and we can only guess at the word games which ensued! What has the Bible to say about our words? Can those asides, those throw away lines, be of any consequence to God? It seems that they are because they reflect our thoughts more accurately than our more nuanced words. When the Pharisees tried to discredit Jesus ministry by saying he was a blasphemer he countered them with a severe warning; “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” St Matthew ch.12 verses 36/7. Careless words revealed the condition of the heart of the thief on the cross who despised Jesus. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Fortunately for us the microphone was left on so to speak and we heard him being rebuked by the other thief who then cried out to Jesus. Notice he didn’t cry to the Priests at the foot of the cross though they had just heard his confession. He didn’t cry to the Apostle John though doubtless he recognised him. He didn’t cry to the Blessed Virgin Mary though she was present. He cried to the only one who was able to help. His words revealed his hearts desire and he put his faith in Jesus, the only one who could save him for all eternity. St Luke ch.23 verses 37/43. We don’t need to have a microphone around our neck to remind us that we are so like Brown. Heaven hears and when the accounts are given we will be like the crucified thieves. May God grant us the grace to place our faith in Jesus that we too, like the confessing thief, may be with Him in paradise.