Oh Be Careful Little Mouth


   Reality check: little pitchers DO have big ears. And they hear more than we will probably ever realize. 
   I was folding the laundry the other day while my 1-1/2 year old was playing with something (I don’t even remember) a few feet away. I started singing “Good, Good Father” and when I got to the end:

Cause you are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us
You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us

my little one would look innocently at me after each line and say “way”. I had no idea throughout the entire song that he was even paying attention. He had no idea how impactful those little words he spoke were to me. 

   I thought, “I really need to watch what I say!” 

   I did a Scripture search on words. This is what I found:

   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. Matt. 12:36-37 ESV

   Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV

   Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Col. 4:6 ESV

   And on and on. 

   It got me thinking, who else hears my words? Who at the park or the library or the grocery store hears the things I say? We can be lights of encouragement without even realizing it. Or we can be blankets of discouragement. 

   I heard a man’s testimony once of how as a boy he was bullied everyday. It was so bad that he wrote a suicide letter to his parents and decided that if no one said anything nice to him at school that day he was going to go home and end his life. The whole day went by, and as he was getting on the bus to go home, thinking, “this is it”, a girl walked by him and said something along the lines of (I forgot the exact quote) “It was good to see you today, Nick.” 

   Wow!

   She saved a life. 

   Life gets busy. Problems happen. It’s easy to let things slip to our parents, kids, spouse, co-workers, friends, or retail workers in the heat of the moment that under a less stressful situation we never would have dreamed of saying. Have you ever stopped, closed your eyes and wished that you could take something back the second it left your mouth? 

   The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are new every morning. Every minute actually. In any moment you can repent and start over from that minute on. There isn’t a talley of all the horrible things you did or said to be reviewed and repented of each day only to try again in the morning. 

   Although I don’t have a three-step solution to help you speak more kindly, (though I’ve heard counting to 3 or 10 or 1,000,000 before you speak may help), I can testify to the help of the Holy Spirit. It sounds so Sunday school basic, but the biggest lesson God has been teaching me is to simplify my life. Take it back to the basics. Stop trying to over complicate my problems, and just hand them over to Him. He is MORE than able to restore anything I break. 

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