Another oldie…

January 5, see 2007 at 10:24 am
Why do you think that the Bible, as the complete, infallible Word of God, mentions the actions of the tongue over and over again? Probably because people judge our walks with God by the things we say and don’t say.

It was really funny because earlier I was reading a book of poetry (which I do often) and found a poem written by Elinor Wylie titled The Tortoise in Eternity. There was one major line that I really liked in it though and I liked it because of the truth that it conveyed. The lines are as follows: “Sticks and stones may break their bones,/ And words may make them bleed;” After reading that I just had to think “WOW!”

I remember when I was younger so many people would say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” But when we say that to ourselves and treat others that way we only deny that we have the emotions that God gave us and that they can be hurt.

James says in James 1:19 that we are to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” He says that because he knows that it is human nature to defend our positions, motives, and weaknesses.

If we are “swift to hear” we will be more apt to understand where that person is coming from. If he has something to tell us, it may be because we have a flaw that bothers him or that maybe we have offended him in some way. If the person is trying to tell us something, maybe trying to rebuke us, it is because he cares about us.

We need to be “slow to speak” because thoughtless, mindless, hurtful words are always the ones to come out first. I almost have to compare this to what comedian Brian Regan said in one of his skits, “It’s like… Oh NO… WORDS ARE COMING OUT!” I have noticed even with myself that when someone says something to me… unless I CHOOSE to be slow to speak, I won’t be slow to speak… In fact I’ll be the opposite of those words of wisdom. If I don’t CHOOSE to be slow to speak I become slow to hear, swift to speak, swift to wrath and in the process hurt someone that I care about most.

Wrath… hmmm… what can I say here? Plenty. When it comes to that part “slow to wrath” I, like all human beings, tend to have trouble with it. But yet we see how God had a just and HOLY wrath… but that He didn’t pour it out on us. In the days of Noah the land was full of sin, but God had Noah preach to the people of His coming wrath. The people laughed it off like it was no big deal, but God gave them 100 something years to change their minds. Has it ever occurred to you that God could have just saved Noah and his family and recreated all the animals? God is that big. (I’m not saying that He wanted to just save Noah and not the animals… I’m not being unbiblical, just putting things in perspective.) God gave chances to those in Sodom and Gomorrah, which they decided not to take. God is merciful and in our anger, we should be too.

I am going to leave you with this…

“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.” ~James 2:26