Verbal Cyanide

Psalm 39:1-2 - I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence." But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. (NIV)

I was stirring a lemon pie mix on the stove when the telephone rang. It was a wrong number. I was polite as I answered the call. By the time I returned, my pie mix was beginning to thicken. Within two minutes it would reach the congealing stage. The telephone rang again. When I answered, it was the same person. "Sorry, I dialled the wrong number again."

"All right," I said, in an impatient voice, and hung up.

Just as I put the receiver down, it rang again. This time it was a telemarketer. By the time I had explained that I wasn't interested in what she was selling, my lemon pie mix was beyond salvaging.

Forgetting I was supposed to be a Christian with control over the temper and the tongue, I exploded as I emptied the pie into the garbage can. In the midst of my fury, my young grandchild walked into the kitchen. Shock registered on her young, innocent face at the words exploding from my mouth.

"Mema, I didn't know you talked like that."

My Christian witness had been injured because the tongue and the emotions had gotten out of control. Of all the parts of our bodies, the tongue is the hardest to control. Just when we think we've mastered it, it explodes.

The tongue is one of the most vital parts of our body, yet it can be verbal cyanide, a flame that can destroy quickly all the good it has accomplished. Let us as Christians seek to put a muzzle on it, lest we destroy our resemblance to Christ.

Prayer: Lord, let the words of our mouths be acceptable to You. Help us to stop the fire building deep within before it explodes in flames of destruction. Amen.

Ivie Bozeman
Thomasville, Georgia, USA

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