Here in the Baltimore area, it’s impossible to watch the news without hearing about the large number of homicides. As of yesterday, there were 18 murders in the city in 18 days…that’s an absolutely horrifying statistic! Honestly, it makes one lose all desire to go out and about in the city, and instead just stick to suburb living or even consider moving to the peace and quiet of the country. These are perhaps ways to avoid death by the gun, but they certainly don’t protect us from death by the tongue!
Earlier today, I experienced quite an attack by the tongue that killed my otherwise high spirit. The new year had gotten off to a great start for me…I found that I had absolutely no complaints. Yes, some folks around me have found themselves in valley seasons, and I’ve been praying earnestly for them, but all has been wonderful in my world. My family is doing well, my job is great, I finally managed to conquer a sinus infection that had me down for a few weeks, I’ve been back in the gym focused on getting 5k ready, I’ve been eating healthy, I’ve been spending more time with God, I’m getting settled into my new home, bills are getting paid, and no matter how you spin it, life has been wonderful! I couldn’t complain even if I wanted to.
And then today, all things in my world momentarily came to a screeching halt when someone at church“silently” made an inappropriate comment about me (as I was apparently talking too long while welcoming our guests) and killed my high spirit with their tongue. Apparently, I don’t know how to follow the rules and do things by the book. That thing hit me some kind of way…you know, God has been speaking to me, and I’ve been trying to be obedient to Him and His will for my life…and my spirit was quenched and momentarily killed in an instant! But, no doubt, everything happens for a reason, even if it just sheds light on a person’s perspective and mindset.
The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue, but I think we often don’t take this to heart and say things carelessly. We don’t understand our tongue’s amazing strength to kill. We talk down to our children, we lash out on folks all around us, and we far too quickly say hurtful things to people who cross our path. Too often we say things without regard because they may us feel better, yet we rarely think of how others are affected by the words that roll off our tongue. I remember my mother telling me when I was younger, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I gained a new appreciation for what that statement means today. Sometimes it truly is better to say nothing, or it’s better to find a positive way to share one’s frustrations or concerns. I just believe positive talk is more likely to spark change than a negative attack, but that’s just my take.
For me, at the least, today’s situation got me thinking about how often we’re guilty of killing someone or something with our own tongues. It made me think about how I personally speak to people and about people, so while the words that were spoken about me today cut me at my core, I managed to learn something in the experience…the words knocked me down, but didn’t knock me out. My personal prayer is that I won’t be found guilty of death by tongue!
Until next time…