Gracious Father, I thank you this morning for one more day in the land of the living. I thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on me. I pray that these blessings are also bestowed on your children who love you. I pray the same on the readers and doers of your word. I pray a special blessing on the readers of this message. I pray that they receive it in love and consider it moving forward. I pray that you bless them and keep them. I pray that your Holy Spirit encamp around them in all that they do. I pray that they continue to be a light for those in the dark. Father, I just pray that you continue to show mercy and grace on an undeserving people. And Father, as always, I pray that you forgive us of any sins committed, whether my thought, speech, or deed. You deserve all honor, glory, and praise, and I pray these in Jesus’ name, Amen.
There was a time when I was a young boy, that I was a bit loose with my lips in speaking what I believe to be right. I was speaking to my mom at the time. I do not remember the content of my words, but I do remember feeling the need to say it, and I also remember not finishing my statement. In mid sentence, I remember my mother grabbing the front of my collar with her left hand, and making some movements with her right hand as it was coming toward my face. All I thought was how in the movies a man grabs another man by the collar and punches him in the face and knocking him out. It was that thought that caused the tears to roll down my cheeks. It was then, my mom’s right hand changed course, sort of. I believe a fist was about to make contact to my face, but the tears caused her to change her mind. What she did was just as painful. To be honest, I might have preferred the punch. She used her fingers and grabbed my lips and began to twist them while saying “watch yur mout, likkle bwoy” in her deep Jamaican accent. It was more like w..a..t..chhhhhhhhh, yur mout likkle b..w..oooooooooooooy”, and each syllable was like an extra twist. I swore my lips switched places. It felt like my bottom lip was on the top, and vice versa for the bottom. Surely I have given you a clear illustration, if you are not cracking up by now. What my mother taught me that day was to be careful of the words I choose when speaking. Clearly there are consequences if consideration is not taken.
That took place as a child, which I am sure many of you can relate. What about as an adult? I believe we are bolder now to say certain things, because we feel it is our right. Part of our 1st Amendment is Freedom of Speech. So many of us say, “I can say what I want, and it is my God given right!” Yes and no. We are to be careful with our liberties. The Apostle Paul says “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” (1Co 10:23) Meaning, that yes you have the right to say anything you want, but what you say may end up being harmful to you or others if you are not careful. We have the tendency to have the last say. We have the tendency of winning an argument. There is something about remaining silent, when someone disrespects us verbally, that makes us feel weak. So what we do is say to ourselves, “who does that person think he/she is talking too? Well he/she is going to find out.” And before you know it, our tongue takes on a life of its own, and after the smoke settles, the devil sits back and says “bravo!”
The bible says “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (Jas 3:8-10) Think before you speak. Watch your mouth. Silent rivers run deep. All of these clichés represent the same thing. Our words can have an adverse affect on what we initially wanted to express if we are not careful. Some of us praise God with our mouths, and from that same place, would tell someone about themselves if they push the wrong buttons. There is power in words, and with that, we ought to handle what leaves our lips with care. Words can cause people to commit suicide, or even murder. Do you see the power of words? Knowing what damage you can do, is it not worth handling it with care? The bible says:
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Pr 10:19)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Pr 18:21)
"But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. Mt 12:37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Mt 12:36-37)
They all speak on practicing restraint with our lips. In order for this to happen, we have to change the way we think, and what we allow to resonate in our hearts. When my mother told me to watch my mouth, it was because my words caused her to feel in such a way, that she had to answer me back physically. Your husband did something to hurt you, and now you want to hurt him back by saying something to injure his ego? Please reconsider. You are tired of your co-worker boasting on how the boss likes her work, and now do you want to burst her bubble? Please reconsider. When at the checkout and that young lady have an attitude, not knowing that your taxes that comes out of your check is her paycheck. Do you want to rub it in her face? Please reconsider. Are you just tired of that person who just talk too much, and you want to tell them to shut the blank up? Please, please reconsider.
When God created us. He created us after His image, and after His likeness. God made things come to pass by saying it. We too, have limited power in making things come to pass by our words. Let us use this gift wisely in where God will be well pleased, and not the devil. Amen!