Mon., Jan. 31/22
The intersecting street at the end of the one on which we live is named Hillcrest Drive, an apt name for it is located on the crest of a hill. In winter it is an especially apt name for once the less often ploughed sidewalks ice up “driving” is perhaps the safer strategy to traverse it.
I’ve had my good share of slips and falls over the years and accumulated the injuries to prove it. Some, like the cuts and the bruises can heal with time and TLC. Others, like the two detached rotator cuff muscles, will last my lifetime.
But feet are not the only anatomy subject to slippage. The tongue, James warns, can cause consequences far more costly! It is, he writes, “…a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
The schoolyard chant I remember from childhood: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” has been proven a falsehood. Damage done by some slips of the tongue may be reparable, but others can maim for decades. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” warns Solomon. (Prov. 18:21).
Jesus placed much emphasis on this potent power of the tongue. He said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.” (Matt. 12:35). He warns all, “…you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matt. 12:36-37).
Damages done by distasteful dialogue require immediate attention before they destroy one’s friend or deceive oneself. “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.” (Prov. 18:19, NLT). “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
So how do you “rein” your tongue? Well, if you are a human being, you can’t! For James also says “no human being can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). But you can change what goes into your heart, the source of what comes out on your tongue. How? By inviting Christ to fill it. Only He Who is more than human can cleanse a mortal heart… fueling a wholesome tongue.
A sure step and a pure heart will help prevent you from slipping!