Tame the Tongue
Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from trouble”. (NAB)
“If this car runs out of gas, I’m going to kill your father”, I warned through gritted teeth as the car sputtered in bumper to bumper traffic on my way to drop my son off at school. The blistering cold and icy roads only fueled my anger at the mere thought of having to get out and walk my son to school. Had I looked at my reflection in the rearview mirror at the time of my verbal assault on my defenseless husband, I’m sure I would have seen a forked tongue darting out of my mouth with each condemnation that fell from my lips.
There were so many reasons to be angry: My husband forgetting to put gas in my car, the frigid weather outside, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic all contributed to my colorful vocabulary that morning, and it was colorful believe me.
Finally my car did run out of gas, and I had to pull over, out of traffic and into the driveway of a church. As the man who had come out of the church approached my car with a huge smile on his face, I knew there was going to be a lesson in this for me. Not only did he have plenty of gas on hand, but he also insisted I remain in the car while he took care of everything! Kindly refusing my offer to pay him, he simply smiled and sent me on my way.
All of my reasons for being angry now seemed trivial, and I was left feeling ashamed. Had I guarded my mouth instead of opening it I may not have been able to avoid running out of gas, but I could have saved myself from the trouble of feeling guilty and ashamed.