Proverbs 13:3 (CEB)
3People who watch their mouths
guard their lives,
but those who open their lips are ruined.
James 3:4-7 (NLT)
4And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.
In my office, I have several shelves full of what I call “smart-guy books.” When I refer to my “smart-guy books,” I don’t mean that they are books for smart guys, but books by smart guys—smarter guys than me, for sure.
Anyway, in one of my “smart-guy books” it says, “Self-control is one of the hardest character traits to achieve because it means denying what comes naturally to our sinful nature and replacing it with a controlled, godly response. Some of the hardest things to control are our thoughts…our words.”
It’s so true! How many times do our mouths just fly open and start spewing trash that we later regret saying? And you know, technology has made it even worse. Somehow, we’re bolder online than in real life. We’re apt to type things into an Email or a Facebook message that we would never say face to face. We can cause a real mess if we click send before we cool off and think twice. And worse yet is that the person receiving the message could possibly read it in an even nastier tone than we wrote it. All in all, it ends up being a not-so-godly exchange.
Take a timeout and pray. Of course you’re going to be angry and hurt when somebody has upset you—it’s only natural. Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t express your feelings to the other person, but those conversations need to be done with a calm heart and a cool head so that you’re not the cause of somebody else’s hurt. Take some time to relax and reflect, seek God’s guidance in prayer, and keep it face to face instead of online.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.