Does your mouth ever get you in trouble? A friend told us their parents used to tell them growing up, “Don’t let your mouth get your butt into trouble”. Recently I got super angry and was really challenged to shut up about it. It was hard. And I’m not saying I was very successful. However, I was keenly aware that feelings were welling up as I spoke. Sometimes the tide of emotion can carry me a little too far if I am moving my mouth. There are times I’ll ride the wave of feelings, then I have a big ole mess to clean up later. So while I was angry and had every right to be, I realize that everything that’s true does NOT need to be said. Years ago I heard someone teaching on the subject of words and our mouth. They said that before speaking, it’s a good idea to ask ourselves:
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Sometimes things are necessary, but not nice. So maybe I need to re-word it. Or shut up till later. Sometimes they are true, but not kind or necessary, so it shouldn’t be said at all. If it’s kind, it’s generally okay.
Check out what James 3 says about the tongue: 5b Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is 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.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.