Proverbs 18:21 – The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (NLT)
I never know what will come out of my oldest grandson's mouth.
Near the beginning of last summer, he developed a case of strep throat. My wife and I noticed a rash on his face. Then later, he opened his mouth wide for some unknown reason, and my wife noticed white spots covering his throat. At the pediatrician's office, they swabbed his throat, diagnosed him with strep, and gave him an antibiotic. One week later, his little brother was diagnosed with the same, so the pediatrician suggested that we bring Levi back to make sure that his had cleared up.
While on the way, he asked his mom, "Are they gonna check my toes, Mama?"
"Yeah, I need them to check my toes because these Crocs hurt."
Curious as to what he was talking about, our daughter asked, "Baby, are your shoes too small?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about," he said.
Kids may say the most unusual things, but as an adult, I've been known to say some things that I regretted. Wise King Solomon got it right when he pronounced the tongue as an instrument of life and death. While I can't literally bring someone to life or end their life with the instrument in my mouth, I can cause them to live or die in other ways.
Our oldest grandson is known for saying strange things. But since he can't invent things that he's never heard, we are reminded that he has heard them either on the television, an iPad, the radio, a DVD, or — perish the thought — from us.
Speech reveals what I've been influenced by, which means that I need to tend to my environment. Spending too much time with seedy individuals, whether directly or indirectly, increases the risk that I'll copy their behaviour. And my behaviour most often comes out in my words.
Speech also reveals my priorities. It's quite natural to talk the most about what's important to me. Since I love my family, writing, reading, and grammar, I tend to centre my words on them. But since I love God more — actually, the most — I should speak of Him more often than I do about anything else — not to the point that I'm obnoxious, but regularly.
When you speak, remember that others see your soul.
Prayer: Father, may the words that we speak reflect love for You and others. Amen.
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