Faith & Worship: ‘Watch your mouth!’

Published 8:00 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

I heard about a woman who had been bitten by a rabid dog.

After seeing a doctor, it was verified that she had indeed contracted rabies. When she found out about her condition, she began making a list.

The doctor asked her if she was making a list of the people that she wanted to tell about her condition. She replied, “No, doctor. This is a list of the people that I want to bite.”

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Evidently, she wanted to do a lot of damage with her mouth!

We can use our mouths to hurt a lot of people and damage a lot of relationships. Without a doubt, everyone has been “bitten” before.

Someone may have slandered you, gossiped about you, lied to you or even abused you with their words. I, too, belong to the “bitten” club!

The danger in all of this is that if you get bit by something rabid, there’s a good chance you’ll catch the disease and send it off to someone else. Like a contagious disease, the words that come out of our mouth can be the most dangerous and damaging part of your body.

Do you struggle with controlling your words? My mama would call it “watching your mouth.”

As a child, I would sometimes get in trouble for not thinking through what I was saying. That would often lead to me having my mouth washed out with soap, which was a disgusting way to remind me of the power of my words.

She would say, “If you would watch your mouth, I wouldn’t have to wash your mouth.”

I chuckle at the thought that those same words she has said are ones my wife and I have had to share with our little boys.

By the way, have you ever tasted a bar of Dial soap? Yuck!

The Bible has much to say about the Christian and his/her words.

We are told to not let any “corrupting talk come out of our mouths, but only such as is good for building up” (Ephesians 4:29).

King Solomon said, “A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

James, the half-brother of Jesus, said the tongue may be the smallest part of the human body, but it is the most powerful. He calls it a fire…something that has the power to set the course for a human’s life.

James said it was untamable, a restless evil that was full of deadly poison. With it, we can praise the Lord, but moments later we can curse one another (paraphrase mine, James 3:3-12). 

What we say reveals what’s in our hearts — for good or for evil. When you open up your mouth to another person, you are opening up your heart to that person.

The greatest question to ask is: do others see Christ in your heart as you to speak to them? I think sometimes we lose sight and thought of who we are talking to when we speak.

James 3:9 tells us that when we curse others, we are cursing those who have been made in God’s image.

This really hurts my heart to the core because, when I get frustrated, angry or out of control with my emotions when someone has hurt me or someone I love or has said something harmful to me, I have the tendency to say things that I’ll never have the chance of unsaying. When I curse someone, belittle them or crudely say something insensitive, perverted or harmful, I am doing that against someone that God created, loves, treasures and sent his son, Jesus, to die for.

James said it’s hypocrisy to praise God in one sentence yet curse another human being in the next. There’s honestly no place in the Christian life for corrupt, combative, crude or condemning language. To me, that is hypocritical to the Christian faith.

Let’s not be like that. Let’s live up to our holy calling. We have been saved and transformed by the perfect and precious blood of Jesus Christ.

When Christ sought to change our souls, he also sought to change our mouths. We have the ability through the power of God to speak truth, righteousness, love and peace.

Our words should reflect the worth of our salvation and the worth of our savior.

So, the next time we’re tempted to “bite” someone, pause. Pray.

I’m positive God will tell you to “watch your mouth.” I’m thankful for the pleasure and joy that’s mine to share God’s Word with you.

If I can ever be of ministry to you or your loved ones, please let me know. God bless you!