SCATHING WORDS (4/19/09-4/25/09)


Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.   Proverbs 21:23

WEEK OF APRIL 19-25, 2009

My daughter was just turning five years old on our family vacation when a peculiar deal was being arranged with her seven year old cousin.  Sean, my nephew, had bought a bouncing ball from a 25 cent vending machine.  It was black with the number “2” centered on it like a billiard ball.  This cheap, little toy caught the attention of my daughter, KrisAnna.

Sean offered to let her have it for 50 cents.  KrisAnna explained that she did not have 50 cents, but she had a dollar bill.  Sean offered that he may let her have the ball for a dollar.  KrisAnna said, “Sean, I should give you two dollars since there is a ‘2’ on it.”  Needless to say, we all laughed hard at her Gracie Allen-like logic.  In one statement she had increased the original offer four-fold!

“If she had only kept her little lips sealed,” was my thought.

There was a saying during the second World War, “Loose lips sink ships.”  The same is true of born-again believers.

We are advised by the author of this proverb that if we can control our tounge, we can limit the troubles that we bring upon ourselves.  James further asserts that it is a hard organ to control (3:8).  In fact, James goes on to say,”If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (1:26).”

Scathing words, indeed.

But how many times have we spoken too much, just like my daughter.  Or to take it further, how often have we damaged our witness by saying too much, not discerning when enough is enough?

It is a natural, worldly, knee-jerk reaction to lash out with words.  Many times, it is hard to restrain what we want to say like Auntie Em wanted to say to Mrs. Gulch in “The Wizard of Oz.”  But restraining our tongue and words is exactly what we are called to do.

How do we avoid that initial, knee-jerk, want to in lashing out in retaliation?  We must allow ourselves to always be controled by the Holy Spirit.  “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

Let us all commit this week to watch our tongue, and to keep it bridled.


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