Ever grab the piece of candy that you thought was going to be sweet and wonderful and you drop it in your mouth and the bitterness and the sourness hits your lips and tongue and send your taste buds into overload?
One day about a year ago I was driving down the road and a local church that always add neat little sayings on their sign out front had this to say. “Always taste your words before you spit them out”. At the time that hit me like one of the great philosophical truths of this world. Unfortunately like every man I am short minded and forgetful. I have to learn my lessons over and over often at the expense of others.
It’s like that old saying that old saying that our parents taught us when we were little. Sticks and stones may break your bones
but words will never hurt us. That sounds like such A strong defense. Unfortunately it’s simply not true.
When I was in third grade my brother assisted me in breaking my arm. Yes we may have been wrestling around after mom told us not to but we did it anyway. I remember that it hurt and I remember having a cast on for several weeks but when I close my eyes I cannot feel that pain still. However it is very easy to close my eyes and feel the pain of a sharp word that was spoken to me years ago.
You can see broken relationships all over the place. Most of them damaged by hurtful word not a physical action or a physical pain. The echoes of words can bring out your entire life. They say two things you cannot get back or the stone after you’ve grown up in the word after you’ve spoken and that is truth.
I have spit out many words that should never have been given a voice. I have carelessly throwing them around throughout my life and they have caused her to many people. Family friends coworkers my wife my children. Not to count forgotten words that may have hurt a complete stranger that I didn’t even know. Why because I am a fallen sinful man. Thankfully my redeemer who has forgiven me had words of his own.
Though my words have been echoing for 33 years my Savior Jesus Christ words have been echoing for thousands. Thankfully His words are true and lovely and pure and holy and full of grace and mercy.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)
My words need to modeled after Christ. They do not need to be self seeking selfish or vengeful. It is easy to let emotions dictate your speech but this should not be the case. To act in love and in response to Jesus love for me I should be modeling this way of life. Only speaking words of truth and love that will build up my wife our children and others.
Though sticks and stones can cause physical pain that may last for a time, the hollow voice of words muttered ages ago c an carry a burdensome weight that will last a lifetime. Truly, chew on your words, taste them see if your able to choke them down. Do they need to be salted or coated with honey to be able to swallow? Do they go down smooth with a desire for more? Or do they leave a bad taste that can only be relieved by a cleansing? A cleansing that can only come from the forgiveness and grace that can only come through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Help me to speak love and words that are useful for building up others. Help me to taste them before I spit them out. Help me Lord to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8 NIV)” be my refuge and help my heart to seek you always.